Monday, August 21, 2006

Oh, the Carly Simon songs I could sing

Does your office shun modern technology? Do your coworkers find the modern conveniences of email and the Internet not worthy of their time? Do you still have forms in triplicate, yes, triplicate? We do - all of the above and then some.

We serve over 10,000 students and enjoy all the technological perks that you would expect at a school of that size – email, internet, intranet, phone system. But no, that just isn’t good enough. If I had a quarter for every post-it note, “From the desk of” memo, and “So-and-so dropped by and said to tell you…” message I would have a very nice nest egg building.

Lets just talk about the memo for a minute. Isn’t a memo just the 1980’s-Melanie-Griffith Working-Girl equivalent of email? The “To” the “Re:”, the “Cc:”, the little I wrote this for my boss letters at the bottom (Tess would know what those are called). Is it that big of a learning curve to switch to email? They have all figured out how to forward “You know you were born in the (insert appropriate decade here)” crap. Is using the technology for something work related too far of a stretch?

Sometimes the best offenders make a massive technological jump… to horrendous consequences: the PDF. Yep the pdf, such good can go so bad. Someone has learned to print to pdf and a whole new art is born: the attachment. Some of favorites are: “The Microsoft Word Art Birthday Invitation”, “The embedded image so large it is guaranteed to crash your computer” and of course the attached pdf Memo, with its “To:” and “Re:” and so on.

Somewhere Tess and all of her made-it-to-the-top-but-still-wearing-sneakers-to-work-friends are shedding a tear.

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Your Tax dollars at work

Tomorrow is a big day. It will be the one-year anniversary at my job. What do I do you ask? I am your state tax dollars at work: Public relations at a community college.
…One year
… Where did it go?

Let me back up. Long ago in a land far away I had a good job in a good city. I met the man of my dreams and followed him off to his dream graduate school. There I had an ok job in an ok city. Then I followed him off to his dream job- basically in the middle of nowhere in a location we are not fans of. So I searched and search. I tried commuting (hated living 3-4 hours a day in a car), took jobs that paid nothing, thought about going back to school (took the LSAT, the GRE, the GMAT), tried wacky money-making schemes, played house-wifey (did I mention I make a mean meatloaf)

Then a year ago here comes a job doing marketing and PR for a local community college. The pros: its in-line with background and skills, its great benefits, it’s a mile from my house. The cons: I make less money than when I graduated from college, it’s a dead-end, no-room-for-advancement job. It’s a job! – They pay me, insure me, I don’t have to wear a chicken suit. Sold.

So here I am a year later. Deeply entrenched in the bureaucracy of a state community college. I have spent a year awed and amazed by both the opportunity and failure that can coexist in such a place. So here I go at a meager attempt of documenting just a small picture of it all.

Maybe I just need to vent.