Thursday, December 16, 2004


One of the most stressful things in this job, and I assume, in every job, is when you can't rely on the people around you to do their job. That, luckily, is not a problem this semester.

There is now a group working together who understand the importance of sharing, doing their job, and being flexible about covering for each other. This means that not only is the day-to-day work easier on all, it also means that we can plan in certain luxuries, such as a three-week protected period for each of us, when we don't have any teaching or administrative duties towards the study. Time for research, writing, updating - anything we feel we need to do of those things which we feel can't be done while we are running back and forth between teaching, supervising and administrating.

We can do this and trust the rest of the staff to cover for us without trying to make us feel guilty afterwards. Of course, there may be other things intruding, but it is my responsibility to say: "no, I can't be at that board meeting, it's my protected period" when that becomes an issue.

And now, I am going to trust my colleagues even more. I am going to go home and stay home for two days. I will clean, bake, decorate and bake some more. When I come back I expect that the only thing I need to do is to proof-read the four (4) course plans I am ultimately responsible for this spring. Two hours ago I thought I was going to faint from stress. 30 minutes with the group I am working with, and the stress level is WAY down. Hopefully justified.

So that's the message of the day: you need to trust somebody. Lucky you if people you can trust also happens to be people you work with.


Pjotr said...

I guess I know how you used to have it.

To put it simple. I worked at Telenor for 4 years. I learned not only not to trust anybody to do their job, but also to trust anybody not to do anything exept forwarding phonecalls all day.

We could expect to be lied to on a daily basis, to be harrassed for being educated, and that was by the management... I was expected to work overtime not because we had so much to do, but because your boss needed to show the other bosses how important your department was... The more overtime in a department the more important it was. Our customers treated you as an idiot, and that was the nice ones..

The day I was downsized I celebrated with an old and expensive red wine...

Torill said...

Yes, sometimes we need a kick to get out of hopeless situations. And sometimes it's to the common good that I pack up and get out.

Being a slightly paranoid control-freak, I am using the red wine to calm the panic caused by leaving early. When it gets too bad I'll walk into the bathroom and see how it shines, polished steel, white porcelain, sparkling mirrors, creamy tiles and crisp, clean towels. Tomorrow I'll start with the kitchen. Don't know if I'll continue to the living-room or stay in the kitchen, baking, but I will worry about that when I get there...