Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The mysteries of FTE

...employment, that is, not enrollment.

Huh, so I have mentally composed a lot of posts about a lot of things but not had the time/energy/ability to close the games on my ipad and actually write them down. I'm starting my classes this week, took a slip and messed up my knee while hiking on Saturday and am trying to rest and recover, and after a whirlwind 10 days or so of rushing about getting paperwork and bureaucracies and signatures and fingerprints and the classes set up and me oriented, I am now trying to go back to applying for job type things.

Job descriptions, both inside and outside academic staffing, have me totally confused. Quite a few positions, when I read them, I say, "that's it? What does this person do all day? What will happen in 2 months when this person has done all the stuff and organized the office out of boredom --- will the position be eliminated?" Maybe these things take longer than I think, or maybe there are tons of constant interruptions that break the chain of work. I dunno. I will point out that it is often "regular business" type jobs I notice this most with.

Then there are the job descriptions that have twenty bullet points and I think about each and go, ok, that one would take me the most of a day to accomplish and I hope that it would only happen once in a week? Because I'd have to write up all the reports and other things that happen in the other bullet points? And some of these job descriptions are not full time! I will point out that this definitely shows up on the nonprofit jobs listed in Idealist, but the university staffing jobs are not exempt.

Also confusing are the staff coordinator positions that will only exist for a year. But....your department/research center/laboratory will still exist after then, right? Will all of this work be done then? Do you have a person lined up who can't take the job for one year? I don't get it. Mind you, there are a lot of part time and temporary positions listed that only want people during the enrollment crush and beginning of the year right now and that totally makes sense to me. But if you are going to, I dunno, staff the Disabled Students Office this year, I presume you are going to continue it next year?

There are even quite a few jobs that I can not for the life of me figure out what they entail. And not, I think, because I am not qualified for them. I can read a description that mentions MySQL and scrum and database development and can visualize what that person should do all day as well as understand that I'm not qualified. But there are other listings .... I will ...optimize excellence all day? I can't even tell what some of these companies do! And I admit, I am not the personality type to work with tech startups. I keep reading about companies and going either, well, that's stupid and pointless and why do you even exist, or going, hmm, I can't tell what you do... do you make anything? sell anything? just burn through venture capital? You're not making the world a better place at all, are you?

This is not the optimistic, can-do attitude the tech startups are looking for --- although when my dad was working as a top manager at a big technology place, his whole job was basically to shit on and tear about all products and proposals to make sure only the ones that would actually be worth it got out to be seen by investors or customers, so I bet that is more standard for "regular" businesses. But the tech/mobile app stuff these days seems much more about suckering in money and blowing it out as fast as possible before anybody realizes you don't have a product or business plan. Hmm. I wish the finance guys would take all these techbros back to Manhattan. Well, not because I want them to ruin the entire global economy again, just because I would hope that the housing costs here would go down a bit and there would be fewer entitled assholes.

Anyways, I am trying to get back into the habit of applying for things and moving way too slow. Interestingly enough, only one of the schools I am shooting stuff off to is getting back to me with rejections. Maybe the others are moving slow too and some of those applications are still in play? I dunno. I wonder if there is a point where the big Us just shut me out of their employment application system because I have tried for too many damn positions?

1 comment:

Hypatia Cade said...

Sorry to be slow in writing about this ~ Re: the jobs that only exist for a year. Likely it's because the funding source is uncertain so, even though there is a clear plan for how to continue the job, legally in the ad they can only post for what they have firm funding for. If you applied and got an interview it would be a great interview question... i.e, this year the Disabled Students Office is staffed on a special grant from helpful fund and next year they have applied for 6 of these and one always comes through, but....

Also I think people generally suck at writing job ads unless that's their job. So they either barely describe the job or over describe every detail and if it sounds generally like something you could do/would like to do it's worth at least putting in an application and finding out more.