My peeve this week is unnecessary work!
My work week is usually pretty busy, and perhaps because we were off on Monday, this week has been particularly hectic. Other than simply reading through 5 pages of my novel and making some minor corrections to it, I haven’t written a word in three days. I’ve not been able to get through more than about a 100 pages in the books I’m reading. Even at night, I’ve been doing school work.
So, when I’m backed up like that, the arrival of unnecessary work really chaps. Here’s some examples.
1: IRB STUFF:
A: I had an IRB (research) proposal to approve, one among many, and I finished reading over it and wrote the approval letter last night. This morning I mailed the approval letter. Not 10 minutes later an email request came in from the researcher to change something in the project. The approval letter that I spent time constructing is now a waste. I have to do another one. Between receiving the first proposal and the new changes, 2 days passed. Couldn’t the researcher have put a little more thought into their first effort so that one letter would have sufficed?
B: I got a proposal from a researcher at another university who requested that I accelerate my normal approval process because they had already bought their airplane ticket to come to Xavier to collect the data. Because they were asking for approval via email rather than by sending me a hard copy, I had to write a contract for our review. I’m required by law to keep hard copies of all submissions and I don’t want to spend my own money printing out hundreds of pages of material. So, I spelled out how I could help them under certain conditions. Two days later I get an email from them saying they were no longer applying to Xavier for approval at present. They’d discovered that they needed IRB approval from their own university first. Time writing contract = wasted. Couldn’t they have checked their procedures for how to do their own research first?
2: WRITING GROUP:
A: One writing group I’m a member of is a critique group. We email our material to a listserv and then print it out on our own for consideration at the next meeting. I sent some stuff in for a review. The day before our meeting, I get an email from one of the members asking me to resend. Now, everything we send to the listserv goes into the archives, and is probably in this individual’s personal email somewhere anyway. But because they didn’t print it out when it came through, they probably lost the email with the attachment somewhere in their inbox. Rather than taking the time to find it, or digging through the archives, they just decided to ask me to take a few minutes to resend. This individual is retired, btw. I’m not.
B: This has happened several times in the past and happened again this week. Someone submits a piece for review. I dutifully print it out, read, make my comments in preparation for our meeting. And then I get a second email a few days later with a “revision” of the previously submitted piece, usually with a note saying: “please ignore the first version you received and respond to the new version.”
All I can say is: ARGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Thanks for letting me rant!