Most people don’t think my job’s very interesting. A lot of days I agree…but then I perform some basic analysis of my tasks, and things perk up a little. For those who don’t know, my day job (which is what I’m talking about here–not my musical life) is managing the Library at St. Louis Christian College. Recently, the previous Librarian resigned, and I’m running the show for a year, until they bring in a new, CREDENTIALED Librarian. (I put the word “credentialed” in all caps because the importance of it is regularly stressed in academic circles…and nowhere else…because in real life, it doesn’t matter what degree you hold as long as you pay your bills on time.)
In the past month I’ve:
- Thrown away three full garbage bags of useless papers.
- Revised the “rules” of the Library–twice.
- Re-organized at least three documents that were poorly typed or contained outdated lists–some of which were improperly numbered in the first place. (I mean, seriously…the document I just did was enumerated in the following sequence: 1, 2, 1, 3, 3, 1, 5, 6, 7…and then it was correct from there on. How do you even DO that???)
- Arranged for multiple students to get paid via the Work Study program, who were working for FREE in previous years for some reason.
- Saved us over $9000 on our automation process in one conversation.
- Cut our periodical budget in half–which actually was assigned to me to do, and was HARD.
- Arranged for longer hours in the Summer to benefit our students who take night-courses in July/August.
- Improved staff and inter-office communication (I think).
- Re-arranged the office to create more space for people to move/breathe.
- De-cluttered the walls.
- Worked toward some basic beautification of the Library.
- Arranged to have the walls painted for the first time in like 10-years–and they’re not going to be PINK this time!
- Bought a coffee-maker (which sounds small, I know, but you have no idea what a thing like that can do for morale).
…and most importantly, I think… I’ve made it a priority to talk to and pray for/with my staff. I think one of the most important things a manager can do is to let his/her staff know that they are recognised and cared for as individuals–especially if those individuals are hourly workers without health benefits (**COUGHneed-to-unionizeCOUGH**). Now, I’m smart enough to know that I’m always going to be “the boss” and that at least one of them probably does an unflattering impression of me behind my back, as a result…but nevertheless, I feel like I’ve done some bridge-building that, frankly, I’m not sure was present before.
Don’t get me wrong, the previous Librarian and I got along most of the time (or at least we kept most of our objections to ourselves and just rode it out)…but I can count on one FINGER the number of times I felt like I’d been prayed for at my job. Sure, we’d have occasional conversations that were roughly to the effect of, “So how are things?” But, y’know…surface level stuff. I, on the other hand, have a prayer-request board, and I drop notes to my workers letting them know that I’ve prayed for the stuff they’ve written up there, and we have a prayer time in our meetings that isn’t just a formality.
I don’t know when or how exactly I came to CARE about my job…but I guess I must. After all, why else would I do it for this little money? 🙂 I guess you find ministry where you find it. At my gig, I’m often preaching to the choir more than pulling souls out of the fires of Hell…but I’ve often wondered exactly who decided that the choir wasn’t worth preaching to in the first place. To me, it’s just as important to encourage and support those who ARE on the right track, so they keep doing right by God. Evangelism springs from that…but I can tell you for a fact that people who’re in Bible College aren’t always too sure of their salvation. Shoot, I know people who’ve gotten DEGREES from Bible Colleges who, if you asked them, probably would tell you they think they’re going to go to Hell. Some have fallen from grace…others never had it in the first place. I want to help change that…and for me, it starts with my staff (which, I’m relatively sure, is going to Heaven).
…so…yeah…that’s pretty interesting to me.
- Nothing…I left my iPod in the car and I’m too freaking lazy to go get it.