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Archive for April, 2013

This morning: bright, sunny, warm, snowbanks melting, clear pavements. “I won’t need this ice cleats anymore”, I say, taking them off and putting them in my bag. This afternoon: cloudy, windy, cold, snow predicted.

April is truly the cruelest month.

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Yes, ’tis budget time at the University of Arnor and the Higher Ups are in a turnip-squeezing mood and out for blood. Back in January, my humble unit started making circulating CD copies of our oral history interviews only on request. That move helped us save a few bucks in supplies and we were belt-tightening, team players up until yesterday. Proving once again that there is precious little oxygen at the Olympian heights our bureaucratic elders and betters operate at, we Down Under received the following request from Up Above: We are to calculate what we saved from not making circulating copies and then calculate the time saved by not making circ copies and what that cost is and find out if any savings were derived from not making circ copies.

I’ll save you the circular math by pointing out that in our organization salaries and supplies are two separate budget lines and that savings in one can’t be applied to the other.  No matter what kind of money we were to save in supplies, we can’t turn around and use those savings to fund extra hours for our employees.  Those are the rules we have to follow.

What Higher Up is asking us to do is to ignore that inconvenient truth. Did we save time by not making circ copies? Yes, we did to a certain extent. Did that time translate into salary savings? No, because any time saved was used to do other processing and preservation work.  In short, you can save time and you can save on supplies, but without either working less or paying people less, you can’t save money on salaries.

Hoisted by our own math, we are thus proven to be profligate hobble-dee-hoys who flout the decrees from On High, spend too much money, and are thus ripe for the chopping block. I can hear the sound of one hand clapping, but I fear that it’s just mocking us …..

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Walk in the Woods

Sometimes it just turns out that way …….:-)

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