Tag Archives: Making Decisions

Decision made (part II)

The external quality auditor came in on Monday 5th of March.  This is how it went down.

A colleague of mine and I worked one evening a week for about five or six weeks to get all the work sampled and documented.  Much of it was lost due to IT restructuring which didn’t help.  From January to March the stress would rise as I constantly thought about the amount of paperwork that hadn’t been done for one reason or another.  Some of it my fault, some of it not.  Either way the stress was high.  I considered going sick so many times.  But I actually kept on going into work.  Hoping that the light at the end of the dark tunnel would arrive.  Finally we managed to finish the paperwork.  All we could do now is wait.

…inside I was truely amazed.

Then one day during our normal meetings one of our line managers started to talk about the external quality auditor coming in on March 5th.  At the time this was in about two weeks or so.  There was a list that was passed around with the name of the students work that “she” wants to see.  The ‘enemy’ (bit of drama!) was a woman.  On this list no-one from our team was listed.  The line manager even told us that we don’t appear in the list.  It was like we were five and we had gotten away with some trouble we had caused!  One of my colleagues said that my face was a real picture.  I didn’t realise I was even pulling an expression, but inside I was truely amazed.

I couldn’t help but think that there was something else going on.  I decided not to return any of the work we had collected to the students until the 5th came and went.  Wednesday 29th came and an email arrived saying that the external quality auditor wanted to see the work of the students listed and the course manual folder for the courses too.  The students listed were mostly my students!  This was why my staff and I weren’t on the first list! (or at least thats what I think.)  All the students listed left back in July last year and all their work went with them as the external quality auditor was happy with the sample that they saw.  So I had nothing to give other than my course manual folder full of paperwork.  This was given in last friday and the fateful day came and went without a peep.  Infact there hasn’t been a peep about it all week.

In fact all things just aren’t worth worrying about.

The weird thing is that now that I have done all I can to make this check on quality go smoothly, my stress levels have gone right down again.  I seem to be learning that some things just aren’t worth worrying about.  In fact all things just aren’t worth worrying about.  I really need to learn this and learn it fast.  It’s not like I’m some young sprog whose learning the ropes!

See Dec 12th 2011 for Part 1.

I have a cognitive behavioural therapy course in a few weeks.  I’m going to enjoy that as it should help me keep myself from boiling over with stress like back in December.  I’m still trying to fiqure out what I really want to spend the next part of my life doing.  I have considered:

Architectural Visualisation
Something to do with Philosophy
Something to do with Hinduism
Being a cleaner and living life with less stress and (possibly) more time
Being a Bus driver
Being a UPS delivery driver

mmm…. dear reader, do you have any ideas?

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UPDATE: Sadly 43 Things was taken offline and is no longer with us.

If you haven’t already, take a look at “43 Things” its a great website that helps you to focus on the REALLY important things in life.

This is my list: http://www.43things.com/person/sn0tb0x so you get the idea.

Calling all list makers…

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Decision Made

For the last Five nights and Five and a half days I have been ill with Anxiety.  I have had a racing heart that I can actually feel bumping in my chest.  My digestion of food has been awkward due to a feeling of tightness in my chest.  I went right off my food and eating was making me feel like I wanted to stop eating.  I felt like I was going to vomit all the time, my throat felt wider than usual like my insides wanted to escape.  I felt out of my depth and out of control when normally I am in control and manage things pretty much like others around me.  Over the weekend desperation to get out of the situation kept hitting me in waves of anxiety to the point where I was crying a lot.  To myself in the kitchen, whilst walking my dog I would start.  I was hopeless.

I am documenting this so I don’t forget this day.

On Wednesday last week I was told in a meeting that the external body that my workplace uses for quality assurance would be visiting in the new year because our students were getting >33% of the top grade and they want to see ALL of last years work.  Now I teach on a two year course and the second year students were signed off by the external QA in July so there work has been returned to them.  The first year students, now second year students are a nice bunch if somewhat unruly at times and I wasn’t sure that we could get their work together.  So the worrying concern that I have had for the last five days is

  1. Do I have to track down the second year students who have left already?  They could be at a University or Workplace anywhere in the country (maybe the world!)
  2. Will providing the work that I have for the current second year students be enough.

With every concern like this, there is a reason for it.  That is, the external body can withdraw our rights to run their courses.  This can affect students lives if not handled properly, could end the course(s) and could end my job.  So I have a good reason to be flapping.

However, today I learnt that someone in a different department had awarded all but one of their students the top grade possible.  This is the real reason why the external body are coming in, they are coming to look at all the provison they are in control of.  This dramatically changes my position, from one of fretting about the course I run and whether I personally am doing things wrong, to knowing someone else made an apparent mistake (!) and that everyone is being scrutinised.

I learnt this today at just gone 5pm.  I was chatting to colleagues about how uncreative the job actually is compared to what everyone in the profession dreams of it being and something inside of me snapped.  That’s it.  I am going to leave.  I am going to leave the job I loved for nearly twenty years.  Not because of some crappy paperwork that I had to do or that I am disappointed in the job itself; I dealt with those years ago.  The reason I am going is because I was so ill.  I cried for help in my kitchen to a deafening response of silence.  I love teaching so much, but that’s over the line.

So I am making my exit plan.

…and this time I am going to execute it.

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Making Decisions

How do you go about making decisions?

Do you think about what you want to do and then just do it ?

Do you think about what you want to do and then labour over whether to do it ?

Do you find that you end up not doing things ?

What’s your process?  I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts about this.

Thanks

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