Thursday, August 20, 2015

Preparing for the future

Hi. I am back in town and ready to resume Pope training. I actually have a 'volunteer webinar' to attend on Thursday night. I will learn the ins and outs of Pope volunteerism and how to get in and out of the city without having a nervous breakdown or walking a zillion miles.

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let's see.....I am going to need a sturdy pair of sneakers...thick runner's socks.....water bottle....sun glasses...rain poncho....and all of the accoutrements needed to spend a day in the cards....transit pass...bottle of water or five....kashi bars..hat...sun head examined....

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On to the big kid who is now alone in Seattle....oh, there should be a movie about being alone in Seattle, doncha think?

Anyway, he finally threw the ball yesterday after a month of training and hit 88 off the mound. He was not discouraged because that velocity is actually pretty good since he has not thrown hard since March.

This is encouraging news for him, so I say: "good for you, kiddo." Keep up the good work.

As he and I continue to train for different things, I am also getting ready to go back to work. There is a back to school barbecue tonight....oye......and a mandatory campus meeting tomorrow morning.

I am not a big fan of barbecues where there is a large number of people attacking the flat, greasy, and lifeless burgers trying to swat the flies off them. I think that I will bring my own peanut butter and jelly sandwich for this one.

Tomorrow's meeting is going to discuss the state of economic stability at the university. Enrollment is pay raises for the past few years.....budget is tight....oh yeah, at the end of the year, they abolished tenure! Yep, I no longer have job security after years of working on stuff that I disliked in order to stay employed.

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OK, I didn't exactly 'dislike' all of the extra activities over the years, but I did them to assure my family that money would be coming in to pay tuition and trips to Seattle and Texas. Oh, and there is the food bill too. And now, to give the administrators full control during a fiscal crisis, they eliminate tenure. Nice....No, not nice!
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I guess that I can try to get a barrista position again at Starbucks. They give health insurance. All I have to do is learn the difference between a caramel macchiato and frapacino.....and latte and espresso...and a shot does not mean a shot of whiskey, but of something else, which I have heard only when people have ordered them.

Am I worried that I will get the 'ax' at work? No, not really. I think that I have other skills that they need...although, at my age, I have a higher salary than the newbies (which is not saying much because I work for a non profit.). Could I be eliminated and then shout 'ageism'? Maybe....maybe not.

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Hey, I have a professional background that can be used anywhere in the US in a variety of settings. I will be fine if they close my program. Yet, I know that this is not the case with departments like philosophy and perhaps religion. There are not many majors and therefore, they stand more in jeopardy than my colleagues. 

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My prediction: They will whittle away the majors that have fewer than 10 students.....eliminate assistive personnel which means that we will not have administrative support to do things like grab lunches, make phone calls, and set up appointments for us (don't cry for us. I figured out how to use voice mail long ago, but not the copy machine and printers). Perhaps I am wrong in my assessment of the future. I hope so.

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 Maybe the President of the university will tell us tomorrow that we got a raise.
In previous years, when we got a raise, I would say "Two percent of squat (my salary) is still squat."  

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The reality is that as much as I complain, I really love my job which is the reason that I have stayed so long. The people and setting are terrific as well as my work load. My job has also allowed me to teach most of my load in the fall to allow me to travel to baseball games in the spring. Yes, it would be very hard to duplicate the people and flexibility that this job has offered me. In other words, keep your fingers crossed that the sate of the university is not a state of emergency as we prepare for the impending semester.

OK, off to do some Pope training with Big Sis.


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