ASSOCIATES (vol. 5, no. 3, March 1999) - associates.ucr.edu
In the last edition of Associates, Kendall announced that I would be writing the next editorial. That was a surprise, especially since I have never written an editorial. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained and thanks
As some of you may know, I work at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland. We are one of the three National Libraries, the other two being the Library of Congress (LC) and the National Library of
Medicine (NLM). I started at the Library in 1988 as a secretary. Then I
worked at the circulation desk for a couple of years. Next stop was the
Acquisitions and Serials Branch, and my final stop (for now!) is the
Cataloging Branch. Although I miss the interaction with patrons, I must say
that the Cataloging Branch has been the most rewarding and stimulating for
me. My work includes copy cataloging, as well as the original cataloging of
Dissertations and Analytics.
Currently the first floor of the library is undergoing a much overdue
renovation. Everyone on the first floor has been moved to various locations
within the library (our building is 14 stories high, along with a ground
floor and sub-basement!). Well, everyone that is except the Cataloging
Branch! They just couldn't find enough space for all of us. Also, the
management felt that the disruption would be minimal. The disruptions
include completely gutting the rest of the ground floor, and the renovation
is scheduled to last one year!
The renovation has caused our management to consider alternate working
conditions and ideas. As of March 1, 1999, I am scheduled to begin a
program know in the government as Flexi-place. It means that two days a
week I will work at an alternate work site. My work site just so happens to
be my home. My office supplies the necessary computer equipment. The days
I work at home are agreed upon by myself and my immediate supervisor. The
two of us also agree upon what type of work will be done at home.
I am very much looking forward to this "experiment". If all goes as
planned, flexi-place will be a permanent part of our work environment.
There are certain guidelines which need to be meet in order to participate
in the program. The employee must have a certain rating on their
performance review, and must have shown that they are a self-motivated
individual. In addition, separate statistics will be kept to compare them
to the amount of work produced at the "office".
Currently I will be the "guinea pig" and if everything goes as planned,
others will be allowed to try it out. Not everyone in my office wants to
participate in this project. Some say that with other family members at
home during the day, the would not be able to concentrate. Others just like
the interaction that happens in an office setting. Me, I look forward to
the challenge. Of course I also look forward to staying in my PJ's, not
fighting the traffic, no waiting for the car to warm up, no scrapping the
ice, etc... Well, I guess you get the picture!
If any of you are currently involved in such a program, I would love to hear from you. I'll be sure to keep you posted on the results and pros/cons of flexi-place.
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