Assistant facilities coordinator…..little work and no sense of accomplishment

I am an assistant facilities coordinator at a child development research center.

That sounds pretty impressive doesn’t it? Believe me, to see what I do, that that couldn’t be further from the truth I got this job through a temp agency, and I though it would be a great idea because I have a psychology degree from UNC-Chapel Hill with a concentration in education and child development. When I was offered the job, I took it not even really knowing what it was all about, but because it was an opportunity to work in an extremely reputable facility for my field. I jumped at the chance. I started last December, was slated to only work until June. My date of termination (such a pleasant word) kept getting pushed back though. So now, I expect that I will be here at least for another 9 months if I so desire to stay.

Whether I do or not is another story. There are some definite benefits to this job. I think I am paid fairly well (~26,000) for being only one year out of high school, and I am in an environment that has a great deal of potential to keep me motivated in the right direction. By and large, the people I work with are extremely friendly and outgoing. It’s near my house, which means there is no annoyingly long commute.

It’s great in some aspects But there are most definitely some problems. Most of them result in a lack of things to do. This was a real blow for me. My job differs every day. I really never know what I will be doing on a given day. I have built a desk, installed computer software, managed accounts, delivered mail, fixed fax machines and copiers. I am basically an office flunky when you get down to it, but with a few more responsibilites. But, the thing is, this place is extremely well kept. I often don’t have anything to do. Very often in fact. Just the fact that I can take the time to write this while I am at work should be an indicator of how little there sometimes is to do. I have become an amazingly fast typist because most of what I do all day is write emails to my friends. I just thank my lucky stars I have a computer at work because I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t. I would say out of a 8 hour day, I work, really work, about 1 hour of that. The other 7 hours I may do something very minor but it doesn’t qualify as work.

This depressed me for a while because I don’t like being idle. I like having a specific job and being able to track my progess. Sometimes I wish I worked on an assembly line. It’s so much easier to see what you have done. I don’t like the ambiguity this job has each day. Another irritating aspect of this job is the fact that I think the other people here tend to think I am lazy or something because I don’t have a wealth of work to occupy my time.

I have applied for no less than 5 research assisstant positions within this facility and not one has even had the courtesy to respond to me, even in the negative. It’s possible that I am not qualified for the job (although considering what these research assistants do, I doubt that), but I think it’s more that when people see me, I am more often than not typing email on my computer, i.e. not working. I am there though! I am at their disposal. If I am needed, I will work tirelessly. I am a workhorse. I just need someone to give me something to do. So, people’s perceptions of me have come into play, making this job sometimes very aggrivating.

I would say my sense of accomplishment varies from nil or below average.

In 5 years, I hope to be teaching elementary school. It will require going back to grad school, but that is fine. I can handle that. In 30 years, if I am not still teaching, I hope to be living somewhere other than where I do (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and very much in love.