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Thread: Summer season at work, struggling a bit with culture

  1. #1
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    Summer season at work, struggling a bit with culture

    We have had a week and a half of summer camp, 3 field trips, 2 on site visits, and I am tired!!

    I am also getting irritated and committed to doing something different this time. I have a colleague who was just hired to be at the neighboring school and we are working together over summer. Then we have a supervisor who is working with us and training her. So fun time, she is going to be with us ALL SUMMER. I do like her and it is good to have another person with us, but I am balking at the all summer supervision. It has meant that I was able to get everything ready for camp, a huge load, and I don't have to work all the time, and there are irritations.

    The culture of this department is better than my old one but definitely different. There are very clear and explicit directions on everything, but the people giving those directions are capable and competent so it works. It is part of this culture that you get walked through everything, including how to make phone calls or what time of day to do which task. For example I have a new assistant that was just hired and I was told to call her that day, to have her schedule follow mine, to say specific things, etc. I did say at the end of the instructions that I knew some things were different however I had assistants before so I felt confident. It is all very good hearted and part of the culture rather than personal towards me.

    But here is where I got bugged this last week. I have a folder for my p-card paperwork, they set it up for me with very specific sections for everything. That is great and I use it that way. However I also keep more copies of past receipts and statements. The supervisor with us for summer needed something out of there and saw I had extra papers so told me I didn't need them and put them in the shred bin. I found myself getting really anxious, after 8 years of scrutiny and mistrust I wanted to keep them. I also felt like I should have that choice in my own file. There have been a few things that have felt like a boundary push to me, and I am uncomfortable.

    I think I can handle this with just understanding that everything is shared and homogenous across all the sites, and then making a small part of a filing drawer to keep the things that make me anxious to get rid of or anything rather messy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I also felt like I should have that choice in my own file.
    Didn't you have a staff member in the past year that treated you like you were an equal and you resented it, that he should do as he's told? But you want differently for yourself?

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    Herb, in some sense yes. I don't feel like I am expecting to be treated as an equal to our supervisor on site. My assistant was making up rules I didn't agree with or know about. She has had many things she has questioned or told us to change and I have done them. I consider that appropriate since she is the supervisor. Looking back it seems I was super touchy by the end of Friday. I am sure she also has super stress. It is really stressful to go from running your own site, having your own desk and a few hours every day of admin time to a desk shared with 3 people, a couple hours a week of admin time and having people in your files all the time.

    I think my independent nature is just a little worn out. I did the heavy supervision at the beginning of the year while learning. We were able to work it out so I had a few quirks and I was getting the job done the right way. At the end of Friday I was done with all the commenting and questioning of everything I do basically. When I was doing the staff meeting I did a round of 'what is fun about you' and 'what might we need to know as your coworkers'. I started and said that I have asthma and to not get freaked if I have a coughing fit. She interrupted to say in that mommy voice 'do you have your inhaler?' I have been carrying one for 15 years, yes, and was saying that. Then am I sure I want to shop on a certain day, am I sure about scheduling this person like this, am I sure about the t-shirt color, am I sure about how to set up snack supplies, did I know that staff need to be busy, do I know that I need a staff meeting agenda (in the prep packet) and that I should have the staff meeting when she was there to help me (I submitted my detailed agenda based on the department agenda), I need you to send that email, and in the middle of while I am writing the email saying did you send the email.

    It is just a culture I need to get used to,

  4. #4
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    They are micromanaging professionals. Ugh!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    They are micromanaging professionals. Ugh!
    Yes, and I am okay with learning to manage this since they are all warm and competent. I may need to blow off some steam however!

  6. #6
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    Sounds like they standardize files so anyone can pick one up and use it. I worked with that system with tutoring companies. It was a little hard to get used to doing it, but the first time I had to take over someone else’s group on a moments notice, I Really appreciated the standardized files!

  7. #7
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    Can you scan the receipts to yourself before you shred them?

    My trainer can occasionally be overbearing but means well, and will be retired and gone soon. She does things in old fashioned, inefficient ways but I am trying to keep my mouth shut. Before she took the job she had never used a computer before and it still shows.

    Sounds like your culture also is not mean spirited but not open to new ideas.

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