Friday, August 11, 2006

Scheduling the new year

Two weeks from Monday is the first day of classes; a signal time has come to make the work schedule for Fall 2006. Currently I have one graduate assistant, as second GA pending, and nine (maybe 11) student worker class schedules to juggle and create a master schedule covering every operating hour the resource center is open. I create a weekday schedule and a rotating weekend schedule. Monday through Friday afternoon, students work the same hours every week during the term. Friday evening (a new glitch) and the weekend rotate because working every weekend while in college is just wrong. The GA's rotate every other weekend so there is always someone "in charge." Student workers rotate weekends throughout the term; the more student workers, the fewer weekends they work. Usually they get two weekends for the term, possibly three. Since I am quick to remind them two weekends a term reference work obligations, there is little room for whining, even if we are all adept at the whining process.

The library is open 99 hours a week. All of the students, with this year's single exception, have a finite number of federal work study hours available. This adds another interesting layer to the process. If they run out of money, no work study hours and no paycheck. It is imperative to make clear federal work study money is a single finite lump sum allotment. No matter how many jobs are taken on campus, all of the pay comes from the same place. The aforementioned 99 hours must be ably covered, with an emphasis on lunch, evenings, and weekends (times I am not here). Once the schedule is made, students are required to follow the hours posted. If there is a need for change, they are responsible for finding someone to cover their shift.

Posted schedule = your hours = coverage must be met

If they need a particular weekend off and have not indicated such to me, make arrangements to switch with another worker. All I ask is to be notified of the change. The job is their responsibility. Once or twice things have gotten out of hand with switching, but all in all it is a system that works. Student turnover is rare. With the exception of employment termination, most of them have worked here four years. Last term I had a large graduating class, translating into new hires for the spring and fall.

It is time to start working some scheduling magic.

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