Working with lupus is most manageable for me when I have good clerical support staff. Recently, my assistant resigned to take a job in law enforcement working for Arizona’s renowned Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He is an outstanding young man the age of my son, who came to our office from another department through an internal recruitment. In the short year he worked for me, he proved to be more competent than any other assistant I have had in the past twenty years.
So, today, three weeks later I am still feeling the loss of such an outstanding employee. We wished him well, threw a small party to send him off, and were glad to give him support and encouragement as he set out to break into his desired career.
Over the past 3 years when I had similar position vacancies, the recession forced us to fill jobs internally when possible, as we successfully attempted to downsize without layoffs. Only recently have we returned to public recruitment announcements, and I was able to extend the recruitment for this vacancy to outside applicants.
Without my personal assistant, I have had to divide the duties of the empty position between myself and another member of my staff. We are both muddling along in good spirits trying to get all three jobs done between the two of us. I am doing a few things myself that I haven’t done in years, and it is good for me to handle tasks and see exactly what my support staff must do.
However, my management duties are suffering a little now while I help members of my office carry out the bureaucratic day-to-day duties my missing assistant performed, such as accounts payable and payroll. I also must set my own appointments and meetings, file my own records and perform previously delegated research myself. All the while I continue shouldering my normal responsibilities of managing budgets, personnel, and the general operations of our department.
I am feeling the professional stress of the extra responsibilities while knowing that other normal management areas are under-addressed. We will be forced to continue operating this way for a few weeks. Although the economy has improved, it is not yet good enough to justify spending money on a temporary agency for short-term staffers.
But, I will stay sane since am soon going to get a little break.
Today, my husband and I are planning to head out to a neighboring state where I will attend a two-day legal management conference, and then we are spending four more days on a much-needed anniversary vacation.
This weekend will be celebrating 32 years of marriage. So, I will be offline for the next week, unless my Nook and I happen to find a few minutes to write a quick blog post at Starbucks.