I am not a professional

Perhaps this is not news. But it hit me this afternoon, as I spent more time at the paper cutter than ever before in my cumulative experience, that my job still involves menial tasks. This is not what I would expect from a college degree and five years’ experience (with increasing responsibility, as job descriptions like to say). Hell, I used to have people working for me!

I spent most of my day making packets for our instructors who will be teaching this summer. This involved mail merges on all their forms to populate their names, course information, etc. It also involved coordinating which color of paper to use for which form, because I don’t want to duplicate and have two green forms. (Too confusing!) Then, I had to “fan” the forms so that in the folder, they all stack up and the header for each form shows above the top of the form below it.

This is where the paper cutter came in and where things got tricky:
Problem #1: I don’t care about silly aesthetic things like this. Does anyone really think that our instructors are going to care whether their forms are fanned in the folder or just sit on top of each other, all at 8.5×11?
Problem #2: I’m not good at cutting straight lines. This has been a problem since I was 4 and they wanted to keep me out of kindergarten because I didn’t cut straight enough. Our paper cutter literally has a bend to it, such that when the paper is lined up against the guides, one end of it curves sharply up. This led several of the packets to have caddy-wompus corners sticking out and obscuring the titles of some of the forms. Did I go back and fix it? Not on your life.

This is not what professionals do. Professionals do not sit around cutting and recutting paper to make it fan nicely in a folder. Professionals do not spend an entire day making packets of information. Granted, my job involves other things. I analyze data at the end of our workshops to see how we did. I revamped and rewrote all of the forms that went into these packets to make them more logical and accessible for people who may not have taught with us in the past. But I really didn’t spend the last nine years of my life preparing to stuff all these crappily-cut papers into folders all day.

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