How many balls can you juggle? That was question my boss asked me this week, and boy was it put to the test.
Anyone who knows me well and has worked with me knows that I am the queen of multitasking, super efficient; quite the juggler when it comes to my job, and I have always worked extremely well under pressure. I have had a few moments here or there in my career where I had to put these skills to the test. But none have ever compared it to this week. You see I am a secretary, and I am used to constantly multitasking, receiving interruptions and juggling several duties. However, my current job isn’t even close to those normal secretarial standards. I get tasks, I do them immediately, and then I am done and left nothing to do, usually for hours. I’m just too efficient I know it is a problem, if you could ever say it was a problem.
Then this week changed. I started out with a task of scheduling meetings and organizing schedules for a few outside consultants who are coming to visit our department at the end of this week for two days. On top of that task, I was given the duty of setting up interviews. These are not just any interviews, these are interviews for current managers that are having to reapply for their own jobs – thanks to our department restructuring. So you think that would be easy since these are current employees, who are already known to everyone; but it is not easy in the slightest bit. As it turns out, each manager needs to interview with not one, not two, but four different teams of staff members or faculty members. The teams also need to meet before and after each interview meeting with said applicant. If you have every tried to set up meetings with faculty members (aka doctors), then you know that it is (as my friend Tina and I like to say) like herding cats. It’s damn near impossible. Just when you think you have gotten them all together in one box, one cat jumps out of the box. So I started on these 12 interviews for the first two candidates. It took me a couple of days to get them set in stone, only to find out the stone was actually silly putty. Why? Because then the state inspectors decided to pay a surprise visit to our department, and all chaos ensued.
When the state inspectors come, you are required to drop everything and be at their beck and call. For me, being at their beck and call this time included retyping every staff member’s name and credentials in a list that was provided to us. We have 400 staff members. So my coworker and I spent an entire day typing these lists up. In between typing these lists I still had to meet the demands of my own boss and her meetings, the constant flow of emails, and work on the aforementioned interviews and scheduling for the outside consultants.
For two days in a row I have worked late, in a department that does not allow working late. As if all of this has not been enough, because of the state inspections continuing on for a few more days, I was then required to reschedule all 12 interviews I had already set up, and I was given 12 more interviews to set up. So once again all 68 cats are out of their boxes once again.
Fortunately I do see a light at the end of my tunnel (even though I don’t foresee this interview process ending soon enough). My light at the end of the tunnel is I am on vacation next week. I am working my fingers to the bone to get all of these interviews set up before I leave at the end of day Friday. My coworker is hoping I get that all set up before the end of day Friday. Otherwise, she will have to take this monotonous task over while I am gone.
So here I am at the start a new day. Our outside consultants will be in town today, the state is still visiting, who knows what other obstacles I will face. Oh and did I mention this is my final week of my current class in school, so I will have a paper to write and a final exam to take. So yes I am tooting my own horn. Call it my ego, but I am a master juggler when it comes to my job. I work extremely well under pressure, and I am damn good at it, and damn proud of it.
So how many balls can you juggle?