Saturday, January 25, 2020

Work tally

Yesterday I decided to try a little experiment at work. I've been wondering how many interactions with the public I have to handle in the course of an average day. I answer the school's main phone 90% of the time, and of course then I have to deal with whatever the person on the other end needs, whether that's information, to leave a message, or to be transferred to the proper person. I also answer the front door buzzer, which involves checking the camera, asking "Good morning/evening...how can we help you?" to determine if it's safe to let them into the school, and then buzzing them in and seeing what they need once they get into the office. I put a sticky note by my computer mouse and made hash marks on it every time I answered one or the other.

Keep in mind that this doesn't count internal calls to my desk, which I get all day from the administrators, counselors, other office staff, etc. There are lots of those, but I purposely just counted the public ones. It also didn't take into account how many parents coast in to an open door after I've just buzzed someone else in ahead of them. And when I let people in, I have to deal with whatever they need since I'm the first point of contact in the office. Signing out students early is the most common reason people come, and that involves checking their ID, checking the student's "approved to pick up" list, looking up where the kid is right that minute, and calling into the class for them. And often I have to help the adults navigate the computer sign-out system to boot.

So anyway, I tallied up the number of phone calls and door buzzers I answered yesterday and here are the results:

I answered 44 (non internal) phone calls, and I answered the front door 66 times. And it wasn't even an especially busy day. No wonder my brain is fried and I don't want to talk to anyone else by the time I leave!

And all those interactions with the public must be done with a smile, a lot of patience, and a warm and friendly persona because I'm representing our school. And that's only half of my job; I have discipline reports to finish and file each day, attendance records to keep updated, and state department record corrections to do periodically. I also do all morning and afternoon announcements and maintain our school's social media accounts.

That's kind of a lot. I'm just realizing lately that my job is more demanding that I used to give myself credit for. The hours are so good, and there's so much time off, that I caught myself feeling guilty sometimes about having such an "easy" job. But now that I'm paying more attention, I realize it's really not all that easy after all!

I still love it there, though.

27 comments:

  1. Honestly, woman, you are doing the job of at least two people. Maybe three. You should give yourself a whole lot of credit. And I'm sure that you do a superb job. I wouldn't last a day there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! That is a LOT of interaction -- and to have to do attendance and announcements and recording-keeping too? Ms. Moon is right -- sounds like you're doing the work of a couple of people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There used to be an office assistant (we can't find one to stay these days) and parent volunteers to help with the phones (the district put an end to volunteers in school offices due to confidentiality issues) but now I'm on my own. It's hectic.

      Delete
  3. Goodness that is a lot of other stuff you do beside the regular thing. Wouldn't it be nice to hire someone to be the office help ? Other than you ! That is a lot of stop and start over and over again.
    parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They actually hired an office assistant at the beginning of the year, but she only lasted until her first paycheck and never came back! The pay for them is low, and since they have the summer off their pay is calculated for the # of days they actually work, and then divided into 26 pay periods. I think she was shocked at the amount.

      Delete
  4. You are one busy lady! You should be proud of what you do. Actually I'm sure you could use an assistant! People that do not do your job can't understand how detailed and busy it is for you. I worked many years as front desk person in a medical office and took care of everyone coming in, going out, phone calls and appointments in addition to other duties. You just have to walk in a person's shoes to fully get it sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! People often tell me "I could never do this job" but I like it so much more than the last place where I worked that I try to remember to be grateful for it every day no matter how hectic things can be!

      Delete
  5. your job should be divided into 2 entities - phone & announcements, and clerical/computer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's already a computer operator/attendance clerk who does 80% of the clerical work. It's a big job when you're at a public school with almost 1000 students.

      Delete
  6. I worked for a service company as an Office Manager and three days a week my ad-min answered half the calls. On the other two it was all on me. When I got home, I did not want to answer the phone or call anybody. I could not stand the sound of the ring, or somebody asking anymore from me. I know your pain.

    Bottom line is that you still like your job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I still love my job, even on the rough days. I'm very lucky.

      Delete
  7. What grades are you working with? If old enough, could you be assigned a student helper to do some clerical work, or door answering, after you have authorized the caller?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, all of the clerical work is confidential and nothing students should be seeing (lots of information about their peers). We do have student helpers based in the library who can run simple errands around the school, though.

      Delete
    2. Also, answering the door bell in this age of heightened school security and active shooter drills requires a trained staff member (adult) to always answer the door.

      Delete
  8. I understand very well that what you need most after such a work day is peace and quiet - I know I do, and sometimes I don't even want to talk to O.K. on the phone in the evening. Usually, though, that feeling passes after an hour or two at home alone, and is gone completely the moment I hear his voice :-)
    Thinking back to how unhappy you were at your previous job, it is good to know you still love this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really do love this job! And Gregg almost doesn't count as far as the not talking thing goes....after a few minutes to unwind, talking to HIM isn't taxing to me. I just don't care to see or talk to anyone else besides him (and the dogs and Marco, of course!)

      Delete
  9. good for you for monitoring this - done like a true scientist.
    Hopefully it will help you do well/alter what needs altering etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm thinking about gathering some more information so I can really understand my job and what I accomplish in the course of a week. It may be useful info to have in my back pocket one day in the future, if you know what I mean. :)

      Delete
  10. I feel tired just reading about what you accomplish in your job each day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The days are never dull, and they usually go by pretty fast--that's one advantage!

      Delete
  11. Gee, that's almost as bad as working retail and having someone snidely say "well, if you don't have it then I'm going to have to go to Lowe's."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, being the first person people encounter in the office at a school is JUST LIKE retail, because people are people and they bring in their "stuff" with them. Also, lots of times families are going through some sort of stress and they blow off steam at the first person they encounter (me).

      Delete
  12. I am very pleased that you are still enjoying the school job and still appreciate that it is much better than your previous position. Perhaps you should explain to your line manager exactly how taxing your role is. You deserve a couple of hours a day away from the front line so that you can concentrate on your other work tasks without interruption.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One reason I'm monitoring what I do each day is so that if I ever need to go to my boss (the principal) for help with an issue, I'll know exactly what it is I do all day and what I need from him or the other administrators. There is no one able or willing to take my place at the front line for more than a few minutes, so for now my 30 minute lunch break is the only respite during the day. I do all the clerical tasks in between the interruptions. That's one good thing I learned from retail--multitasking!

      Delete
  13. One of the main reason students opt for online assignment help is the time delivery of the given tasks. Varied tasks at the universities make it a hassle for the students to devote sufficient time to each individual task. As such they either fail to submit the given assignment task within the deadlines or complete the task haphazardly getting scores below the passing marks. If you are stuck with your research projects, essays, case studies, business reports or need Urgent Assignment Help, then myassignmenthelp is the place to be.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The language used to build Tally.ERP 9 is Tally Definition Language (TDL) - an application development language of Tally to develop and build solutions for Tally

    ReplyDelete