Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Little Stuff

 As instructors, we all have little stuff that needs to get done.  

We have monthly time sheets, which basically ask, did you take sick leave.  If not, you say no.  If you did, you put in the days you were out. It takes about 3 minutes once a month, and one of our administrative assistants sends out a reminder each month with directions how to do it.

And yet: this past week, I've gotten emails from the deanling letting me know that about a quarter of our folks were missing at least one, and of those, most were missing significant numbers.  Some people were missing the whole year's worth.  It's a little thing, right?  Except when we retire, unused sick leave gets converted into payments towards our group health insurance, and for me, at this point, having been here 20 years, I have about 5 years of insurance (unless I get sick and have to take sick leave now).  That means, for a lot of people, retiring before 65 is a real possibility.  And that's incredibly valuable!

So I sent out reminders with specific months that folks had to do.  And still, even now, some people haven't bothered.  (The notes I sent out specified that people would lose x hours of sick leave, because that's what the deanling told me.)

Another piddly thing: we're all supposed to turn in a syllabus for each course to be kept in an electronic file.  This way, if a student needs a copy of the syllabus for a transfer or something, the office staff can help them with that easily.  

So, the same admin assistant sends out requests.  And then reminders.  And at this point in the semester, they're sending individual requests to the people who haven't sent them yet.  

I don't get why.  Seriously, you hit "reply" and then "attach" and go through your computer files, attach the file, and hit send.  Two minutes?  And this is for things you're currently teaching, so you probably have the files somewhere pretty handy, right?

These piddly things come to me, as chair, to send reminders and such, or to try to add my urging to the admin assistant's.  For all the good it does.

And yes, the irony: faculty are FAR worse than students at turning things in, even when reminded repeatedly.  We don't, as it were, read the syllabus.

Except, like most students, most of us do the things we're supposed to do, if not immediately, after one reminder.  It's just the ones who don't cause extra work for other people, and the work adds up.

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