I’m just busy!
So, in mid January, I started my new role…and was promptly informed that my colleague would be leaving in 2.5 months.
So I very quickly had to get myself up to speed on a lot of things: how things worked in the library, who our main users were and how they preferred the services to be delivered to them, what I was responsible for, who I should be working with on various cross-department projects, where all our stock is located, how we fit within the organisational structure, where we can offer more or improved services, and core things like how our circulation system works, and what our policies on multiple day-to-day tasks like binding are. Plus I undertook a fairly massive physical and electronic clutter clear out (if I never have to spend another day in a basement with motion sensitive lighting again, I’ll be a happy girl) that could only be done while my colleague was here to staff the library when I was buried in old materials in a cellar. Altogether, my first few months have been pretty hectic and although not stressful in a “OMG I just can’t do this” sort of way, my brain was being rammed so full of information I was struggling to sleep because I had so many thoughts and ideas racing around my head, and then that continued into dreaming about work once I actually got to sleep! Thankfully though, that phase is now past!
It’s been a very demanding process, but it’s also been hugely rewarding – I’ve been able to go through things from top to bottom, assessing what might need changed, and then actually implement those changes, which I’ve never really been in a position to do in roles I’ve been in before. My departing colleague has been fantastic, giving me the information I’ve needed to enable me to make informed decisions on issues, rather than me having to faff about on my own, going backwards and forwards to gather information to enable me to make appropriate choices. It’s meant I’ve been able to be quite productive in my first few months in the post.
But now, it’s suddenly here: my colleague leaves tomorrow.
EVEN BIGGER YEEK!
I’ll have some excellent temporary assistance for a month, then the new member of staff will take up their role at the end of April. While it’s unfortunate that there’s going to be no direct handover period, the new member of staff has been able to come in and shadow my departing colleague for a period of time beforehand, so they’ll be able to start with a good grasp of the basics of the role.Which is going to be a HUGE help, because I’ve not really had enough time to learn both roles fully. My new colleague having a head start on the role is going to be very helpful!
In the meantime, I’ll be “learning through doing”…ultimately responsible for the duties of both roles being performed properly, and training my new colleague on the role. Again, however, this is a good opportunity – it’ll enable me to look at both roles, and see how I want them to work, now that I know how mine works from experience. I’ll be looking at desk rotas, enquiry spreadsheets, communal resources folder management, and all sorts of little bits and pieces that could easily continue the way they are, but I’d prefer they were done differently.
So, if anyone has any top tips on how two staff with one enquiry desk can best balance their time, let me know! And if you see me huddled in a corner somewhere over the next few months…take pity on me, and bring me Sour Cream and Chive Pringles, and some Irn Bru?