Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Flux Capacity

It's been a year on the job at this point. I'm actually kind of embarrassed that I haven't been keeping up this blog. It's been an interesting ride over the last year. I will attempt to relay some of what happened here for those who wonder what that first year outside the ivory tower might be like. However, I fear this is going to end up being one of those stories with lots of flashbacks to come. The excuse I have is that I wanted the blog to maintain generally positive overtones and that requires calming down after blow ups and waiting to see how things work out.

The biggest event that occurred over the last year is that we got a new director. The only one was removed in what can only be described as an exhibit of academic politics (very nearly) at its worst. Anyway, the director who started this whole party left and a new one was found. This process took awhile during which the second in command was running the show. If you were to look up traits of the worst bosses, Number Two would have nearly all of them. Ze does not deal well with stress. I nearly resigned a couple of times but decided to wait it out and see how the new Big Giant Head worked out.

New Big Giant Head was picked with minimal issues. BGH used to work in politics and became our director based mostly on the network ze had and ze's ability to come up with potential opportunities. We were understandably curious (or trepidatious) how this would work. It was a little rough at first. BGH was a bit shocked by the amount of petty politics in academia and how stupidly things are run. Ze still hasn't adjusted to all of it but is developing an interesting sense of resigned humor about it.

Shortly after BGH came on board, ze was approached about a project. I'll call it Project Insanity. This project is in my former academic field, so I essentially became the subject matter expert. It began with just a feasibility analysis. Then it grew…and grew…and grew. Now we're talking about large construction projects, line items in state budgets, and strategic plans. You can imagine why I call it Project Insanity. We're getting stakeholders together these days and it seems that everyone assumes I will be the director of Project Insanity, should it come to fruition. I'm not prepared for this and quite frankly, it's nervewrackingly terrifying.

During the evolution of Project Insanity from amoebic feasibility study to full-blown multicellular apex terror, my position in the center seems to have morphed from data analyst to something closer to a project manager. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

In the middle of all that, I applied for the U's MA in statistics. The reasoning behind this is that, if I want to go into data analytics, a degree in stats might be helpful. My degree in social science seems to baffle people. So, a stats degree may be more helpful. And, as a U employee, I wouldn't pay tuition. But now I may end up being the Director of Project Insanity and, while stats would likely be helpful in that, I'm not sure if my energy would be better spent elsewhere.

Oh, and BF and I are closing on a house this week. The whole house hunting saga and the stupidity of our mortgage company are fodder for another post, when I can better appreciate the moronic humor of it all.

In short, most days are fairly uninteresting from the blogging point of view but in aggregate, it's been nutty.

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