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Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

Happy almost-September, everyone! The mornings are actually classifiable as “cool” now; when I leave the house at 7:45, I can drive to campus with my windows down and even shiver slightly in the breeze. I’ve been watching a lot of sunrises since I began my new job – Tim and Julie’s house has tons of front windows, and the light just floods in when the sun rises.

I can’t believe I’ve spent a whole week in my new job (without any major crises or problems – yet). πŸ™‚ I have my own office – with a window that looks out into a tree! – and a large bulletin board that is already half full of schedules and reminders, and two lovely lamps that add ambient light. Glenn (my boss) keeps a supply of M&Ms (which he calls “stress pills”) in his office, adjacent to mine, and Carlene (across the hall) has a large candy dish shaped like a frog, which holds yummy soft peppermints. So we’re well-stocked for sugar, which is good, because on weeks like this, we need it.

My first three days on the job were fairly calm – either the faculty or I, or both, were in meetings much of the time, and very few students came in with questions or problems. We’re off and running now, however, and I’ve spent much of my week directing traffic, answering students’ and graduate assistants’ and faculty members’ questions, and sending student workers to make copies of various documents. (This job requires a LOT of delegating.)

On my first day I received FOUR bouquets – one from Dad, one from Julie, one from Jeremiah, and one from Betsy. And on Monday, John and Evelyn Willis sent me more flowers, with a card that says, “We appreciate you!” Bless every one of their hearts. I’m so glad to have people who love me. πŸ™‚

Speaking of love, Glenn tells me every day how glad he is that I’m working in this office, and Carlene (who handles most of the student traffic) is a sweetheart, and my student workers (some of whom are my age) are all very sweet and helpful. And everyone over in the dean’s office, across the way, has been so good to me when I have questions. I’m slowly settling into this role. Lots I don’t know yet, but it will come. For now, I think I’ll steal another handful of dark chocolate M&Ms.

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This is my last post from my little eMac in my little corner office in Creative Services. Tomorrow I move on to the larger and much more chaotic realm of the Bible department…away from this small outpost of ACU (we’re technically across the street from campus) that has been my office home for more than a year and a half. It’s been new, different, exciting, confusing, dull and absolutely out of control at various times…but gradually I’ve carved out a niche for myself over here. I was the first student proofreader they hired, and I dare say I’ve helped shape what the job will be in the future. And I also can say I have done the job well.

Today at a good-bye lunch, for me and for two of our designers who were also leaving, Ron presented us with plaques detailing things the office crew likes about all of us. Apparently my co-workers appreciate my extensive vocabulary, my “ability to remain calm and focused in the midst of any deadline,” my stories about family trips, my “minor in ACU historical trivia,” the “speed with which I can turn a grammatical disaster into smooth-as-silk copy,” and, of course, my “good taste in fellow workers.” πŸ™‚ So, in return, I’d like to present a few things I like about them:

-Celia’s laugh, which can be heard all over the office when she really thinks something’s funny

-Ron’s incredible eye for detail, which has shamed me, impressed me and sharpened me time and time again

-Peggy’s caring (but never nosy) inquiries into all the student workers’ lives…we’re like a set of surrogate grandchildren to her. Oh, and the Rice Krispie Treats she makes us for birthdays. Yummmmm.

-Amber Lee’s sweet spirit and her constant “bless yous!” when I sneeze

-Greg’s jokes at jobs meetings and the laugh lines that crinkle around his eyes

-Ken’s rooster-crow cell phone ring, and his jokes at jobs meetings

-Paul’s sense of humor, which is as crazy as his curly black hair

-The well-stocked candy dish on the front desk

-Multicolored Sharpies in all sizes

-The chance to work on amaaaazing publications such as four issues of ACU Today, The ACU Century, and Dr. John’s Perpetual Calendar

-Time to blog, balance my checkbook, send novella-length emails to lots of those I love, chat to Val on Gmail for hours, and generally amuse myself when I wasn’t working πŸ™‚

-The chance to learn SO MUCH, not just about editing, but about people and office work and relationships and life, from the amazing people I worked with. So I raise my glass of free bottled water for the last time. Here’s to you, CS. What an amazing student/summer job you were. I’ll see you on the other side…of campus, that is. πŸ™‚ Thanks again. And call me if those commas get too unruly!

Lots of love,

Katie (a grateful proofreader, who has ink-stained fingers and lots of love in her heart)

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EDIT: I tried to post this post on Friday, but the Macs at work wouldn’t let me post. So I’m posting this post now…all right, all right. Anyway, a flashback from Friday:

This is the first “normal” workday I’ve had all week. Strange to say that on a Friday. I’m sitting in my office, iTunes playing on the computer, shivering in the draught from the air conditioning vent above, busily compiling a MASSIVE database of ACU Today stories, from the present to its origins…somewhere in the seventies. Similar to my very first assignment at Creative Services, when I filled in literally hundreds of holes in the database for Dr. John’s Perpetual Calendar. I spent a lot more time in the file room then than I’m doing now, though.

Last week, work was my life. I spent 35 hours at the office, frantically proofing, marking changes, updating files, writing copy, checking facts, and generally trying to make Ron’s life easier during the last-minute rush for this issue of ACU Today. You’d think we’d have a better system for this by now…but the last week before deadline is always the craziest.

This week, however, my life has interrupted my work…I’ve spent as little as 45 minutes in a day this week at the office. Monday brought a funeral at Highland and then a lovely lunch with the Lifeteam ladies (and Ethan). Tuesday was moving day for Bethany (see previous post), and I spent most of the afternoon running errands. I was here early on Wednesday morning – but left town at 3:00 for our blogger rendezvous at Humphrey Pete’s in Early, Texas. (See Beverly’s blog for a summary of that supper…http://bevmann.blogspot.com.)

Yesterday I came to work at 10:30, then took a lunch that lasted nearly three hours as Bethany and I cleaned out the fridge and freezer and finished loading her car while also loading mine. She walked around our house one last time, and we let ourselves out and she locked the door. She followed me to Betsy’s to help me unload stuff, and then she left one last time. I told her, “This isn’t goodbye…it’s ‘See you in two weeks,'” which is true, but at the same time it’s also the end of an era. She’s the best roommate I’ve ever had. I will miss her.

Last night was another moving adventure as Calvin and Lorin helped me haul the rest of my stuff out…a few sticks of furniture, a TV and stereo, some clothes, and not much else. I am now installed in Betsy’s house for the summer, with new roommates Leigh Anne and Sarah. Crazy transition times. But it’s nice to be in a place where I can buy groceries again.

Maybe next week will bring a happier balance between life and work. The pendulum has certainly been swinging…it’s about time to settle down for a little while.

Back to work…I’ve got at least 25 years to go before the end of this monster is in sight. (That’s at least 75 issues, for you uninitiated…probably more.) Happy Friday! And happy Memorial Day weekend!

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job angst

Another day spent dealing with the monsters called job angst and creeping, crawling, dread-filled worry about the future. I have been to no less than two dozen (probably many more) job boards and publishing house Web sites today. I have scrolled through job listings till my eyes began to glaze over. I have applied for six jobs in four different cities. And I got a very polite email from St. Aldate’s Church, Oxford, the site of my dream internship next year, informing me that they can only cover a quarter of my tuition. Do they honestly EXPECT recent (like last week) college graduates to have 1500 pounds (not dollars!) of their own, in addition to covering half their own food and all their own incidental expenses? Give me a break!

That being said, as I keep trying to remind myself, I do have the summer to fret about it…I mean, work in Abilene, not pay rent, immerse myself in community at Highland, and figure out what I’m doing next. When the lease on my little house is up, I will pack my capri pants, coffee mugs, Kathleen Norris and Joanne Harris books (among others), scrapbooking paraphernalia and beloved old journals, and move three blocks east to another safe place. Not my house, not a permanent home, but a place where I’m welcome. A place where I can relax (at least after work) and try to “contemplate my future,” as Scott keeps telling me to do. I really hope it doesn’t involve moving to a random big city without a job. I’d be fine moving somewhere random WITH a job…but steady income of some kind is a must. Not just a plus.

I do miss my beloved Abilene family, aka the ladies of House 9 and others of my Oxford beloved, who are sallying forth to new jobs, internships and adventures. My circle is slowly closing…Betsy and Jeremiah leave this week, Bethany leaves next week. But it will be a good summer…sunny and literary and somewhat peaceful. If I can keep the blanket of paranoia from suffocating me.

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Quiet relief

Well, I’ve been promising everyone: “When I know what I’m doing after graduation, you will know! I will be shouting it from the rooftops, I’ll be so excited!” Funny how, when things actually start to fall into place, my primary emotion (after the initial elation) is not wild excitement but quiet relief.

I can keep my job here in Abilene for the summer. So I was informed last week, after a week of email tag with Ron. They will need me for the summer issue of ACU Today, for various odd proofreading jobs, and for whatever else needs doing around the office. Still part-time with no benefits, but as I’m not looking to stay on full-time, I’m all right with that. And when the lease is up on my little cottage, I will move into Betsy’s pink and brown room on Avenue F, and pass another summer in A-town. I don’t mind too much. I’ve grown kind of attached to this place, despite desperately wanting to leave it next year. And it’ll be a good transition between college life and whatever the world out there has for me.

As for next year…nothing has certainly come through yet. But I do have an offer to go back to a place I love, and do something I love. Money will be an issue (grrr) as will a few other things…but He is surely big enough to work them out if that’s best for me. Forgive the cryptic-ness…I’m trying not to jump the gun. But we’ll see. I may be just weeks away from the fulfillment of a long-held dream.

In other news, it’s my last “normal” week at ACU (though since when is life at ACU ever normal)? Time at the office. Literary discussions in classes. Come As You Are. Black Tulip poetry reading tonight. Singing at Highland and in choir. Chapel, in various forms. And Fajita Fest 2K6, on Cinco de Mayo. I’m jazzed.

Maybe I’ll even find some time to study for finals…

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