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.