Monday, September 5, 2011

Working Holiday

At our institution, there are two kinds of classifications for staff: non-exempt and exempt. "Non-exempt is akin to "hourly wage."

In my opinion, non-exempt means being able to leave work at a pre-determined hour, and go away from work until a pre-determined hour. It means not having the expectation of reading one's email in between those predetermined hours. It means others accept the limitations of only so much can be done in a 40 hour work week. They are not encouraged to work overtime hours, unless their work duties require it - mostly, this pertains to the special category of "essential" staff. These are the heroes that come to campus no matter the weather conditions to make sure all paths and stairways are cleared of snow, and the students get fed. (I can't tell you how many times I've made coffee for the guys who arrive on campus at 4:00am...)

There are so many extremely dedicated colleagues who work in these hourly parameters. They support the institution in various ways; and while they are on campus - their professionalism and expertise is bar none.

The exempt staff position means:

Salaried employees who perform work that is defined as "exempt" from the overtime and minimum wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.A full time exempt staff schedule requires a minimum of 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year or 2,080 hours per year.
The colleagues who are in this category are administrators of programs (both academic and student life) or even more demanding on their time: live in the dorms with the students.

It's up to every one of us in the "exempt" category to find parameters of our jobs in order to achieve a healthy work-life balance. The challenge we all face: how do we achieve that balance when we are passionate about our work? The ideas, the possibilities, the excitement of change, the energy from the students, the monumental responsibility of the privilege we have to be working in higher education... how do we make that all fit into minimum hours of the day/week/year.... life?

I realize that I make my own life. We all do. It only seems that once again, I'm struggling with accepting the fact that I am indeed NOT superhuman. But that I also expect my family to understand that my work is important to me.

I'm going to my office for a half day on a holiday. I won't get holiday pay for it. I don't really NEED to be there - but I must find quiet space in order for me to get some things planned. I should also check in our our building guest - he's been there for 6 days - I may have to do some cleaning......

....... dear self. I hope that some day soon, you will figure it out. Your kids and husband (and your dog) would like to see you in a happy state.

#80 of 90in90 for #LUBlogTribe.

OMG - 10 more to go!

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