Happy Saturday, all!
Thanks for all the encouraging comments on my last post. I've been wanting to respond to them all individually, but this week has been extremely busy, and I'm just plain worn out! Know that I read and appreciated every single one of them.
Work has been okay. Except for physically going into the same building each morning, I feel like I have a completely new job. Well, I suppose I do. After five years of being the receptionist, the first point of contact for everyone coming into the school and surrounded by people all day, every day, now I'm tucked away in the back by myself with totally different responsibilities. My new job title is Attendance and Records Clerk. Both of those things (attendance and records) are enough to be a whole job in themselves, but I'm used to having a large workload. At least now I can work all day without interruptions, which should really lower my stress level once I'm fully trained and know what I'm doing.
No one besides me (and occasionally, the guidance counselors) is even allowed in the room with students' permanent records now. Things had devolved last year into kind of a free-for-all where teachers and other staff just came and went in there whenever they felt like it or needed something from a file. This is a major breach of confidentiality and actually illegal under SC state law! I spent the last two days this week beginning an audit of every single record, and they're an absolute mess. I only got as far as finishing the sixth grade, so it's going to take at least two (maybe three) more days of work to complete the audit. That's not counting the work it will take to resolve the problems I'm noting. All told, we have about 800 students enrolled this year, so you can imagine what size job I'm talking about.
I'm also newly in charge of record requests. Scanning records and sending them out to other schools via email isn't that hard, but it is time consuming. The same goes with requesting the records for students new to our school. Since it's the beginning of the year, we're inundated with requests right now and I have a huge pile of them to take care of next week. Thank goodness they'll slow down to a trickle after the first few weeks. Or so I'm told.
The students come back on Monday, so in addition to the stuff I've already mentioned, my role as the attendance person will begin. There's a lot of record keeping involved in that, too. Mountains of it, in fact. Some of it I'm already familiar with, but most of it is new to me, too.
It's all kind of a lot.
The first part of the week I felt completely overwhelmed. As busy and stressful as my previous role was, after five years at it at least I knew what I was doing! There's a certain comfort in that. Now everything is new to me, and I have a lot to learn, and it's all stuff that's important to get right. I want to do a good job, and I plan to try hard. If nothing else, I'll gain really valuable skills for transferring to another school (or even the district office) down the road if I decide I want to. The principal has been very nice to me and has had nothing but good and encouraging things to say so far. She asked the head of the records department at the district office to come spend a day training me, and that was really helpful. I'm still wary of trusting her too much, but so far, so good.
So, I survived week one. I've been really tired and I expect that to continue for the next few weeks, but after that everything should settle down. And can you believe it's almost August already?