Guestpost #50: M – Ten things I’ve learned from my first year of working at UVic

Note: My name is M, and I’ve worked at the University of Victoria for almost a year.  I got my BA for History In Art here, and have learned just how different it is to work here than be a student.  Not better, not worse, just different.  A lot of people in Victoria (and elsewhere, like my mom in Alberta) hold UVic up on this pedestal, considering it this glorious mecca of employment.  It pays so well!  It’s so prestigious!  The benefits are great!  The weather! The bunnies!  These things may be true, but let me share with you ten things I’ve learned from working here (so far).  Bear in mind that my job has absolutely nothing to do with what I studied so feverishly for five years.

  1. Very few people on campus take their jobs seriously.  Of those who do, very few of them are people you will get to, or enjoy, working with.
  2. It’s really hard to get fired when you work for a union.  My co-worker missed sixteen days (I counted, yes) between January 4th and February 28th, and she’s still on salary.
  3. Every department operates differently, has a different administrative structure, develops its own processes.  They do not communicate these processes until there is a problem.  This causes immeasurable amounts of confusion.
  4. Generally, people over the age of 30 have a hard time with data entry, punctuation, and spelling.  95% of the emails I get that have grammatical errors, or anything that could be fixed using a spell check have come from people five to thirty years older than me.
  5. The highest paid people on campus are also the kindest people on campus.  Today the VPFO brought in bite-sized homemade cookies.  I’ve had seven.
  6. A lot of people consistently make the same, very obvious mistakes.  These people do not like to be corrected; instead, they will ask you to correct their mistakes.  I spend a good portion of my time doing this.
  7. Fifteen paid vacation days are 100% necessary.
  8. A lot of money gets wasted on promotional items and materials that never get used.
  9. If you’re under the age of 30, you’re the only one who knows how to use a fax/ photocopier/ scanner, and you’re the only one who can be trusted to fix a paper jam.
  10. Working here is overrated, but the pay and benefits are good, so it’s manageable.

3 Comments

Filed under tenthingsivelearned, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Guestpost #50: M – Ten things I’ve learned from my first year of working at UVic

  1. Michelle

    Durrr I just realized there’s a typo in the item where I mention the number of typos I encounter. Yeesh.

  2. Colin

    I wouldn’t do this if you were a little less smug, but there’s still three grammatical errors in this entry. See if you can find them; it’s the only way you’ll stop making the same, obvious mistakes. Keep at it, bright eyes! I’ve found that twenty-somethings can indeed master basic language skills, once they stop gloating about their prowess fixing paper jams.

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