First Day

Today was overwhelming and exhausting, but also fantastic. Once I get the hang of things it’s going to be overall pretty easy, a few hassles of course, but manageable.

So, I am now the lab manager / administrator for a large health sciences oriented research center at the University. Okay, why the secrecy, why don’t I just say where? Well, where would be the fun in that? Seriously, ask, and I’ll tell you. Or challenge yourself, keep coming back and reading and try to figure it out for yourself! But here’s why I’m not naming it here: I don’t really want a search for that research center to send googlers here. Because this isn’t a part of the center. This is my space.

I’ll be managing the equipment necessary for the immediate research environs and maintaining the inventory of necessary items, maintaining financial records and accounting, and managing the people using the facility on a user-level basis (ie they don’t report to me or anything like that). I’ll be the safety officer and co-chair of the safety committee for the facility. I’ll also be the manager for the Director’s lab, though what exactly this means depends on who you ask; from what I can gather the main responsibility I’ll have is simply ordering what they need and maintaining their financial records. In my ‘spare time’ (which apparently I’ll have) I’ll be able to do research in the Director’s lab.

I met a tonne of people today. Seriously. One metric tonne equals 2204.6 US pounds. So since I met around 20 people and I’m willing to bet their average weight was more than 110.2 pounds, I met more than a tonne of people.

I’m such a geek. Who can only think in metric for some things, and only in US imperial whatever for others. But I’m getting sidetracked.

The trouble is, I suck at names. And I suck at recognizing people outside of an environment where I expect to see them. And I get all flustered and stressed about this. So I start to wonder if that person who glanced at me on the bus was someone I should’ve recognized. But I’m sure they know that I’m the one new face they need to know, while I have 175-plus.

The person I am replacing came to help train me today – she’s already started her new position, but this was part of the agreement, she’d come train me. I swear, S is wonderful. She’s helped clear the confusion and panic I felt when I looked through the financial files. She is also helping to calm down the scatteredness feeling I was getting, and I can see that the many odd jobs do fall into several big categories.

Oh! And I have an OFFICE. That’s right. Not just desk space, or office ‘space’ or a cubicle. It’s a real office. With a door. I even have windows. There’s a big desk, bookshelf, chair, and two filing cabinets.

I have around ten courses I need to take. At least. In addition to the safety type ones (transportation of dangerous goods, chemical safety, radiation safety) there’s an animal care one, one for the financial stuff, a few accounting type ones, and UBC is starting a new course programme for its new manager types.

There are keys! I have a passcard type key, a submaster key, and one for my office. I’ll also be in charge of the one for the radiation lab.

Okay, that’s all I can think of. Must get ready for tomorrow and get to bed.

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4 responses to “First Day

  1. Mel, I’m so glad and proud of you!! We need to celebrate, I have ideas… We’ll chat. Call me when you can. Hugs!!! Congratulations

  2. Mel, I’m so happy for you! I’m also so happy to see you talking all that science mumbo jumbo that totally impresses me. Good luck to you. You’ll get the names and everything else right quick because you’re smart like that. Cameron is going to be so proud of his Mama. Go, Mel!

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