My professional life is rife with challenge right now. There be snakes hiding under rocks, and much need for discretion.

A few years ago I joined the board of a non-profit, and promptly was asked to be treasurer, as no one else knew anything about money. I contributed a lot over the years, and often felt that what I have learned was actually helpful to the organization. All for naught in the end. The agency lost the funding that was its financial foundation, and the board voted unanimously to dissolve. I am truly ambivalent about this decision. We finally found a talented Executive Director and with just a little more time, she may have dragged the organization (kicking and screaming) into organizational stability and a more secure future. We all ran out of time. And now I'm the one who is digging into what bills must be paid first, and thinking about how to responsibly dispose of all that paper.

At work the budget is still uncertain, as we still do not know how much we will be cut. The leadership team met for hours and hours last week, and put together a list of recommendations for our board that go beyond band-aids. We have band-aids upon band-aids right now. We are thinking about how we can restructure for sustainability.

One consequence of our discussions: we downsized our administrative assistant team from three to two people. And the consequence of that is that Accounts Payable is back in my desk drawers, and I am once again processing invoices for payment. All well and good, I have done A/P for so many years that I can practically do it in my sleep. It takes time, though. And I took on additional responsibility for technology coordination when a big chuck of A/P was assigned to another person. My tech duties are not going away.

Meanwhile, I have a big tech plan rolling right along. A consultant looked at our computers, and found a mishmash of operating systems installed on woefully underpowered machines. By the end of the year, everyone will have computers with 2 GB of RAM, be running Windows XP Pro, and will have Office 2007 installed on their computers. I've arranged all this for much less money than buying new computers, and most of it will be paid by grants.

My big challenge is not to do more with less. It is not to work more hours to get everything done. It is not to let this job continue to grow like topsy. Rather, it is to identify the parts of the work I do that can be pruned away. I must figure out how to do this job and still go home at a decent hour, so I can get some exercise, cook supper, read, watch a movie, knit, write.

Believe it or not, I think that this is a start.


  1. I think it is too. Speaking it out or writing it out usually helps set the direction. Like a dress rehearsal.

    Sounds very stressful and more than hectic. But it appears a plan is on the horizon.

    Good Luck to you!



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