Monday, August 03, 2020

Getting Someone Started

To continue my story about the not real reed prep person:  they started on Monday.

And because they'd come from a sister school's program, HR here at NWU couldn't bring them fully on board until the actual start date.  (You evidently can't work two full time jobs in the same system.)

That meant they couldn't establish an email for the person, let's call them Reed, and without an email, the chair of Underwater Basketweaving couldn't start getting permissions in place for all the different computer systems.

Here's a sample of permissions, most of which are established using an electronic form:

keys.  yes, Reed needs to be able to get into the building, the reed prep rooms, the growing areas, etc.
purchasing.  Reed needs to be able to initiate purchases of equipment and such
payroll.  Reed will be in charge of some student payroll stuff
course scheduling.  Reed will be in charge of scheduling some of the Reed classes, even though not teaching them.
budgeting.  Reed has some reed materials budget responsibilities
and so forth

On Monday, the Underwater Basketweaving Chair, Ona Stool, met Reed (because, of course, Reed couldn't get into the building or reed prep areas otherwise) to get them started.  They checked, and there was no email for Reed.  Uh Oh.

Ona signed Reed in on her account, so Reed could at least see some basics, and went to make a call.  HR said that for sure, there'd be an email on Tuesday, since it couldn't get started, and would have to go through a "batch" that happens over night.  (It seems like all the updates are put through in one big go overnight rather than piecemeal.)

And after a bit, they went on a walk around the area and campus, to get Reed acquainted with things, and stopped into the centralized Employee Corral, where the folks who help employees with everything and anything are now centralized.  The idea is that you call in or walk in, and the person at the front desk can answer any and all questions and help with whatever.  Got a question about changing your 403b contribution, go to the Corral, and they'll help!

(In reality, the people who can actually do anything aren't the ones at the front desk, so when you call or go in, you inevitably get told that the front desk person will ask someone else and get back to you.  And then you just hope you aren't forgotten or put on a back burner because they're incredibly understaffed and overworked, and things get put aside while more important stuff gets taken care of first.)

At the Employee Corral, they met Sierra, and had a short hello chat, asked about the email, and once again received assurances that it would be up and running once the overnight batch  went through.  And then Ona could do all the electronic forms, and they'd go through an overnight batch, and so forth.

Fortunately, Reed could do some preliminary reed prep back in the department, and that was a nice, low stress activity.

Tuesday morning, no email.  So Ona called Sierra and asked, and Sierra said they'd check into it.

And about 3pm, someone from the Corral, one of the people who is usually super knowledgeable and on top of things, and definitely overworked, emailed a short apology for not getting the email done earlier, and said they'd get one made.  And by 4pm, it was made!

But while Ona could use the email, and Reed could log in with it, the system wouldn't recognize it until, yes, you guessed it, the overnight batch.

And so it was Wednesday before Ona was able to begin putting the electronic forms through to get Reed going, and Thursday before things started working.

Still, Ona reports that they're happy at the way Reed's handled things!

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