In the last couple of weeks I’ve spent almost four full work days doing nothing more than online training for various things. First, I went through an extensive online study program where I was required to make better than 85% on numerous quizzes in order to get my certificate, which I’m required to have in order to chair a big research committee at my work. It is, by the way, a committee that I have absolutely zero desire to chair.
Next, all Xavier faculty are now required to go through an online training course on harassment and how to recognize and report it. Numerous quizzes are found along the way. This one included watching a lot of videos and “what would you do” scenarios.
Third, our Department is going to start using the Strong Interest Inventory to help with advising students on career goals. That meant more study. I ended up taking the test myself as part of this process, and found that my major interests seem to be artistic ones. If only that darn writing thing would earn me more than pennies on the hour.
Fourth, the faculty were required to watch a rather lengthy video on what to do in an active shooter situation. The key guidelines appear to be, run if you can, hide if you can’t run, and fight if you have to. I’m thinking that’s probably good advice.
The above four things do not include the dozens of surveys I’ve been sent by either Xavier or other universities wanting my input on all manner of things. These things don’t just come once, mind you. If you don’t fill them out you get reminder, after reminder, after reminder.
Although all of these things are worthwhile at some level, I’m beginning to wonder when I’m supposed to get my regular work done. You know, that old fashioned thing they call “teaching.” And I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t be compensated for all the added activities that seem to have become part of my job of late. One of the surveys asked me about my work hours versus leisure hours. I'd have more leisure if it wasn't for all the extra work stuff I'm supposed to do.