Admin Anxiety and Book Brouhaha

First of all, dear readers, Happy New Year! Let’s hope that 2023 is a better year than either 2022 or 2021. That is not to say that 2021 was terrible as we all started traveling again, but it became apparent that after 2 years of the pandemic many things have changed. I speak, of course of, the difficulties that most people have had traveling. Or going to a restaurant. We might have a labor shortage in the Netherlands but it seems that the industries that suffered the most, are travel and hospitality for obvious reasons. What’s interesting is that we still have a labor shortage in both the Netherlands and the US. But enough about that. The week in the run-up to New Year’s was quite quiet, I had finished up most of my stuff on Friday fully expecting that there would be a quiet weekend ahead with family. And there was. Mostly. I went to see my sisters and I spent the night with my sister Alex and her kids at my dad’s house on New Year’s Eve. Of course, we did not manage to see the new year in as we were all asleep. Alex by about 8:00 and myself about 9:00 30 or 10:00. On New Year’s Day that meant that we woke up well refreshed for a journey to the outlets which is fast becoming a tradition for my sister and me. Our mom is buried in a cemetery close by and so while I myself did not go to the cemetery we have decided that that might be a nice tradition to institute. Say hi to Mom and then go to the outlets. Though I am a little bit conflicted about all of that because going to visit someone at a cemetery really isn’t such a wonderful thing to me. But it’s not about me.

Still, as nice as the family time was, there were things that were left hanging over the weekend partially because I was waiting to hear from teachers and not expecting to hear from them over the New Year’s holiday. So I wasn’t as responsive as I could have been to certain emails. The upshot was that I received two emails in a row from a student who was very uncertain about whether I received her emails. I managed to wake up quite early and send her the email on Sunday. Yesterday I woke up to an ocean of constructive criticism, (or maybe it was just criticism) that I shouldn’t have said as much in the email as I did. Oh well, live and learn. The scheduling SNAFUS continued throughout Monday morning. In addition to sending an email with too much information, I had to try and coordinate switching out a class for a teacher who is sharing the student with another teacher. That was a flurry of emails but I am hopeful that this will resolve after this post publishes. Working six hours behind the Netherlands is not always that easy.

By far the most stressful incident of the week was trying to make sure that a particular class had books. Here’s the situation: back in December I ordered 17 books for a class that takes place on Monday evenings. I had ordered six copies to be delivered within a week, and 11 to follow at a later date. While I was in the Netherlands we had some trouble getting the books from the bookstore to the location because of address problems. Once we finally sorted that out the books were supposed to get there the following day. I think this was a bit before the holidays even started. Thinking that everything was okay I assured the people waiting for the book that they would be there the following day. Only to wake up yesterday morning saying the books had not arrived at the location at all. And then saw a subsequent email that they had arrived. Once again I thought that everything was on track. Only to receive a text at 12:00 p.m my time yesterday from the teacher saying that they didn’t have the books at the location where she teaches. So I had to contact the person who actually delivered the books to the location and ask where they went. She told me who picked them up and where they potentially are in the building. I related the information to the teacher, who let me know at 17:00 that the books had indeed been found.

But the above fracas caused me no small end of anxiety so I sent an email to the bookstore that we work with for large orders to make sure that the large orders that still remain including the 11 books expected for the class above, as well as 10 books that are expected for a course that will run in January, are on the radar of the bookstore and myself. I even took the precaution to contact the owner of The English Center to make sure that she received the two books that she ordered some weeks back. Thankfully, she had. Is it any wonder that I spent most of Monday panicking? So much so that I was not able to finish most of the tasks that I had set for myself, including lesson planning, my own admin work, and this blog post.

In terms of students for the week, I am only seeing Isabelle, Shinwei, and Odhran. All of whom are pretty easy to prepare for. In fact, my prep for both Isabelle and Odhran is complete. Shinwei is not yet complete but I’m doing a little bit of research about photography and the terms associated with it so it’s taking me a little longer than I thought to prepare. I also contacted my English Center pronunciation student Roy to see if we could schedule our last lesson but I have not heard anything as of this writing. All in all, I think I need to work on not being so anxious when things don’t work out as easily as I need them to.

The Writer’s group is once again on hiatus on the 5th as neither Mark my co-organizer nor I can attend the meeting. We have let everybody know that they’re welcome to meet but there will be no admins and there will be no new people day after tomorrow. Things will go back to normal once both Mark and I are able to attend meetings.

That’s All She Wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

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