Jan 3, 2011

Slow start to 2011

First day back at work. I was gung-ho, mind set on getting lots of items checked off the to-do list that's been hanging around since before Xmas. But I got temporarily distracted.

First, there was the issue of three large filing drawers. Old exams, papers, ideas, you name it, it was in there. I was completely out of space, already before the holiday, but was told that I needed to wait till the end of the year before I could legally allow exams from the previous year to be shredded. So this morning, my first call was at the department secretary to get a bunch of boxes. I chucked in all the old exams (easy), and then decided I might as well go through the rest of my files (not so easy). I spent a good 4 hours sorting stuff out. I wanted to get rid of stuff, but not throw away vital things such as case study notes that took me weeks to complete and work done on research that took months to read and write up. By about 2.30pm, I finally had it all done, and now have two entirely empty drawers and many empty hanging files to go with it. Time to re-file the stuff that's been hogging my desk. Done. Being pedantic as I am, I color coded my hanging files and tabs, of course. It looks so pretty now.

Next item on the agenda was to do some emergency gardening to my three office plants. That was quick but no guarantee that they'll survive the onslaught of being ignored for several weeks. They look ok, so I'm hopeful (other than my lemon tree seed experiment which looks moldy and disastrous).

During the gardening I found out that my laptop was back from the shop. I first went to a nearby mini-mart to stock up on lunch and snacks, and most importantly, a box of tissues and new dust pads for my swiffer. Of course, I got everything but the tissues and the swiffer pads, so I'll have to bring those from home. I must have been too excited about getting my laptop back.

The return of the laptop was overrated. I got it, and it turned itself on. But I immediately found out that the IT people have installed Windows Vista on it (why??? I thought it was our school policy to avoid that program like the plague). On top of it, they didn't bother running the 94 windows updates that are due since my entire hard drive or motherboard, or maybe both, have been replaced. So I've been in the process of updating everything for the last 2 hours. I hate the way Vista looks and the laptop no longer feels like "mine". After the Windows updates will be the Javas and Explorers and Virus checkers and who knows what else updates itself. Then, of course, the real work starts: installing my 3 or 4 statistical programs, file share programs, restoring my lost files (a LOT of them) from my internet back-up system, and then download minimal necessities such as at least one chat program in case the entire process drives me so insane that I need virtual support from friends.

All said, I have gotten nothing done today. Real work that is. I've done plenty of mucking-the-stalls type of work. Not exactly how I imagined my first day back at work.

Happy 2011.

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