22 June, 2009

Prologue to Whatever Comes Next

This post may well be a long one because:

1. I am trialling Ritalin for the first time.

2. I am nearing the end of my time in my current position, so I can probably write more about my current job without risking unemployment.

(so, lets go).

At the end of the year my family and I will be uprooting ourselves and moving to Darwin for a couple of years (or perhaps longer). Unfortunately I will leave a lot of things unfinished at my current workplace and a lot more things unstarted. It is partially to rectify that situation that I have decided to try drugs once again. However, before I start labelling myself an unproductive member of society let me make a few excuses.

My current employer is in the not for profit educational sector. As such there is not a lot of money laying around for a librarian to trial new and exciting ways of doing things. But I knew that before I took the role and it didn't faze me at the time.
However, since I took the role there has been a reduction in IT support to the library (and quite a drastic one at that). Which unfortunately means that my plans to be fantastic with open source software have fallen in a heap. There is no way that I (or my staff) could manage to drive much in the way of technological change without significant support from IT. In my case, it is because as manager I have too many other duties which would prevent me from spending the long hours required to set new systems up and in the case of my staff it is because the simply do not have the IT skills needed.

My second excuse would be my 2IC, now this is a difficult problem to describe but in simplistic terms; my 2IC is an old-school librarian with very fixed ideas on how things should be done. And she was formerly the manager of the library here and has been with the organisation almost since it began 30 years ago. As such, although she stepped down from management some years ago, she still has a substantial investment in the organisation. Plus, she is a very dominant personality.
While I will admit that I am also a dominant personality, I also tend towards a certain avoidance of conflict (not always, but I like a peaceful life). I have therefore sometimes tended towards maintaining the status quo rather than pushing hard for change simply because it is too difficult to get 'buy in' from this staff member. Unfortunately, this staff member has taken my dislike of conflict and used it to her advantage from time to time. So if I am not at work for a day, I may come back to work and find a policy I have been looking at has been changed slightly or a direction I have given to a staff member has been countermanded. Now, these have not been major changes (probably because I have demonstrated that I am more than capable of being firm when I choose) but rather they have been just enough to annoy me without being anything that would seem significant to anyone outside this library.

So, why does this equal Ritalin?
Well, I want to make sure that I have explored every option and I have perhaps just under six months left here in which to make as many improvements as I can.
I also want to make sure that I haven't just been making excuses for some of these things not happening. If they haven't happened because of my ADHD then I want to know it but I am quietly confident that my ADHD has in fact contributed positively to my time here because (as I have demonstrated in every job I have had) I have a fantastic knack of thinking things that no one else has thunk or thunking things in ways no one else could.

this is my new topic for blogging,
my last six months as manager of this library and my final fling at weeding out the things that prevent the library here from doing all it could do for our students and introducing new and exciting ways of working which will (I hope) make life much much easier for whoever comes here after me.

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