Today should be a relatively easy day at work. We have parent-teacher conferences at the school and so the students have the day off. The conferences are only scheduled until noon and then the principal said that the teachers and other staff can leave early. I'm thankful for that.
Yesterday was a bad day. I nearly cried at work. This week has been super stressful, what with the guidance counselors and half of the office staff being off at professional development conferences leaving me almost totally alone to run the front office. I was already feeling pretty browbeaten by endless phone calls, answering the front door, and basically putting out one fire after another, and when I asked one of the assistant principals for help (two sets of parents had called who needed an administrator to call them back and help them with situations) she totally blew me off and was quite rude about it. I felt like I was getting zero support all while trying to deal with stuff way above my pay grade. My feelings were already a bit tender, since it's almost "that time of the month" and I was completely overwhelmed to begin with. I had to fight with myself to hold back the tears. Luckily there was plenty of distraction and I was able to swallow them down, but I spent the whole day feeling unappreciated, worn out, and just....tired. I made the mistake early on taking on extra tasks for my coworkers and instead of appreciating it, they just ask for more and more. I'm going to have to go to the principal about it at some point, but I recognize that while I'm feeling emotional it's not the proper time, and he's been overwhelmed himself, lately. Maybe next week.
In the meantime, I should be off by 12:30 today and can come home and get an early start on the weekend. It's sorely needed.
Have a good day, everyone.
There's a fine line between being helpful and being used, isn't there? So yes, you definitely need to talk to your principal about some more definite job description guidelines. It's not fair to take advantage of your willingness to pitch in when truly needed.ReplyDelete
Have a good, good weekend, Jennifer and get some rest.
Today was much better! Since we didn't have students, and only a few parents showed up for conferences, there wasn't much to do in the office. I spent most of the morning visiting classrooms and hanging out and talking with some of the teachers I especially like and never get to spend time with on a normal day. :)Delete
Oh, and the principal sent out an email this morning saying basically: "Conferences are over at 12:00. I expect all teachers and staff to find the first door and leave immediately at that time! Enjoy your half day off--you all work hard and deserve it. Thank you for all you do." `Delete
Wasn't that nice? He's a good man.
Oh boy. Hopefully things will chill out a bit once everyone else is back at work. It's hard to have to manage things that aren't even really your job! Have a good, restful weekend!ReplyDelete
Thanks Steve! You too!Delete
You will be doing the right thing in speaking to the principal when you are less emotional. You want to be at your best so he listens to your every word and tries to remediate your concerns. You might have been upset about all the pressure you were under, but be proud of yourself for what you accomplished and survived.ReplyDelete
Thank you! For various reasons I've been left alone to handle the front office for the past two weeks and yesterday my stress was just boiling over. I feel better today.Delete
I do hope you have a good weekend and a better week to come.ReplyDelete
Thank you Doc! Spring break can't get here fast enough. Easter is so late this year that our break isn't until the last week of April.Delete
Have a relaxing weekend. Talk through your concerns with the principal next week and don't let things get on top of you.ReplyDelete
Once I've had a break I'll be able to see more clearly what needs to be addressed and what is merely passing frustrations. Thank you Sue.Delete
Up until very recently, everything you told us about your school and the work you do there sounded so great! Then you recounted the bad and offensive behaviour of some students, and now this. I do hope this is not the start of things there generally going downhill, but a mix of unlucky circumstances and some people with real "issues".ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about taking on extra tasks and not getting much gratitude for it; some people take it for granted very quickly when they get help.
You are definitely on the right track about speaking with your principal when things (and you!) have calmed down a bit.
Oh, dear. I was afraid that it may come across to my blog readers that I no longer like my job, or that things there are going downhill.Delete
The truth is, I still love my job and feel so very fortunate to be there. Even on the worst days it's better than a good day at my old job. I constantly remind myself of that fact.
However, I realized the other day that in an effort to not seem ungrateful for my job, I dismiss my own feelings when things aren't going so great. Sometimes I have legitimate concerns or problems just like any other person and just because I feel lucky to be there doesn't mean I should allow myself to be treated badly or used. There has been a lot of stress at our school lately, what with a new superintendent in the district, the principal's first year in the role of principal, and several other things that have presented challenges. I tend to internalize other peoples' stress, so when a parent calls the school and unloads their frustrations on me (when the administrators have been too busy to call them back in a timely manner, for instance) I feel somehow responsible for making sure things get fixed. I'm trying to learn to let go of things outside my control that aren't even my responsibility to begin with. That's on me, not anyone else.
As for the coworkers who take advantage, well that's my fault too. I was so eager to do extra work for people in my first flush of enthusiasm for my job that I volunteered for things that are now taken for granted and expected. I'm going to have to take control of those situations and have a few difficult conversations to remind them of what my actual duties are (and aren't). I'm not being fair to myself when I swallow my stress and continue to do extra work with gritted teeth rather than a truly willing spirit. I've never been a very assertive person and that's a failing I'm still working on correcting at the age of (almost) 44 years old. I'm far too accommodating and conflict averse for my own good.
But all that being said, I do love my job and with only a couple of exceptions I love my coworkers. The principal is a good and kind man and although he's under a tremendous strain, himself, I know that if I go to him for help with some of the issues I've had he'll make sure to address them.
Thank you for clarifying, Jennifer - I was truly getting worried and am so relieved to know you still love your job.Delete
You are right, loving one's job and being grateful for it does not mean we should have to go along with just about anything; if there are things that need addressing, they should be addressed.
What a week or two you have been having.ReplyDelete
Happy you are home now hopefully feet up and and watching your pups at play.
Thank You so much for the card. We all miss Truffles so much. She was such a sweet gud dug.
Give your pups a hug for me.
I'll go outside right now and give Ginger and George a squeeze and pat from you! I'm glad you like the card. I felt bad that it took me so long to send it.Delete
Do not feel bad... getting a card later always is good.Delete
Yes, you have an easy weekend. And, you could start at the bottom of those "easy tasks" and begin sloughing them off. Just give them back!ReplyDelete
Haha! Yes! "I believe this belongs to you..."Delete
You always have the best advice. Thank you!
hope you have a big bottle of wine to help ease you into the weekend.ReplyDelete
I do! And I've saved enough calories today for a glass or two!Delete
I think you'll have to stand in front of your mirror at home, and practice all the ways you can muster of saying 'NO'. It sounds to me as if you're taking on too much work, especially work that should be done by others.ReplyDelete
That sounds like a good plan.Delete
"No! No way! Not my job! Take a hike!"
It's really unfortunate when you start out so happy that you offer to go above and beyond. Then the above and beyond becomes what is expected... and it's not appreciated. Hope next week is better.ReplyDelete
That does sound gruesome; by now I hope your feel better. I am glad to see you surrounded by Love here.ReplyDelete
Hopefully, that was the basement and in future weeks the elevator will take you up to higher floors from which the view will once again be much better. Hang in there Jennifer. Admin colleagues being absent at the same time suggests poor planning.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you still like your job and sorry you went through a rough phase.ReplyDelete
Please take care of yourself ! ! ! One of my jobs as a young married was assistant credit officer ( approving finance) the person I was assisting just offloaded everything to me, I also helped out with any extra typing and switchboard relief.....overworked to the point that by 10am I would be in the ladies throwing up.....then I quit !ReplyDelete