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Posted - 4/10/2013 4:50:45 PM | show profile | email poster | flag this post
I work part-time for a public university in an service/administrative capacity. The work can be very detailed. I've been in this position for 2 years. I've previously worked for the school as an academic advisor and have also trained a number of employees in my current and past positions. In addition I was an office coordinator at another school in this university system for more than a year. So I have a lot of experience working with these instutitions and the school I'm currently at in particular. The pay is not great, $12 per hour but will soon be increasing to $15 as the position changes to add more recruiting/customer service duties. Now, I'm also a writer --with an MFA and a Fulbright--which is why I do this job as it allows me time and the schedule to work on my very intense book project. However, the staff of my division is now down to two people from four and the supervisor is in the process of making changes and preparing for the new hires who should be starting soon. As part of that process he's begun writing a training manual and has instituted a weekly meeting with me and my one other co-worker in this position. In the meetings he's basically telling us to do work that is outside of the current and future job description, using us, as I see it, as experienced consultants to advise him on how the position should move forward. Last week he asked that my coworker and I write in detail how to do certain technical and customer relations aspects of our positions. I have a small side business supporting students and inidviduals with application essays, business proposals, etc. My rate for that work is much higher than what I'm currently making and these contributions he's asking about for the manual feel like the work I do on the side. I'm going to approach him about paying a consulting fee. But am not sure what my move would be if he said no. I really don't feel like writing these pieces of his manual without compensation and I'm planning to leave this summer because I don't want to work with him for the money they're offering.
Posted - 4/14/2013 4:20:53 PM | show profile | flag this post
If I were you, I'd work the manual writing into the workday. It's not uncommon for an employee, even a low-paid employee, to be asked to formulate or supply parts of a training manual for future employees.
I'm following the advice I just gave you. I'm a lecturer and student media adviser at a public university, and I'm delighted to return to regular teaching in the fall. Last week, my department chair asked me to write an operations manual for my job so that all the advisers going forward will have it as a blueprint. I don't object, because it's my fondest wish for my successor to *love* this position so I don't get assigned to it again, but I'm on campus only 16 hours a week and have only a month to do this manual.
My plan, which could be your plan, is to work it into my other work. My office gets nearly constant traffic, but I'm going to post a sign saying "on deadline" when I'm working on the manual. With a coworker, you two could switch off to handled your customer service.
Chipping away will get it done beautifully and on time. These manuals don't need long explanations, but they *do* need screenshots and copies of forms as examples that our successors will be using.
There's usually a line in every job description to the effect of "and other duties as requested." I think our manuals are these other duties. I'm looking at mine as something that might come in handy someday as a resume item for my freelance business; you never know what the future will need.