Does it really matter after all?

When I got into work this morning a little before 8, my boss stopped by to ask me if everything was okay since I was here so early. When she said that, I could not respond because ever since I found out that she or one of her spies was watching everything that I do, I’ve been coming to work before 8 for the past couple of months. I know that I should be working my full 8/40 hours a week, but I’m exempt. I should not have to worry about punching a clock.

Truth be told, I do enjoy coming in early because I do beat all the traffic, so that’s a HUGE positive. I do get my daily things done earlier like check voicemails, emails, etc. So, there are some positives to actually coming in earlier.  But for her not to notice that I’ve actually been coming in early since January, just blows me away.

I really do love my job. I love the work that I’m doing. This is the position that I’ve always wanted, so I’m grateful that I finally have the opportunity to do what I love. Plus, I still get to coach afterwards. But sometimes, I think I’m not appreciated for what I do bring to the department. Because I’m not allowed to get away with some of the little things, like getting in at 8:30 or working from home a day here or there.

I know I need to just do what I have to do. I need my job. The other side of the coin would make life much uglier for me. I guess that’s what gets me going in the morning when I don’t want to make the drive.

Okay, that’s enough of venting for me. I can’t do anything about it, but it just feels better that I let it out.

Stanford

So, I received this email this morning from our Provost:

“Dear Colleagues,

Over the course of the past month, we have been carefully evaluating the campus budget reduction proposals submitted by all of the schools and administrative units. The deepening and extended national and global economic downturn requires that we make some difficult decisions, and today, we will begin sharing with campus units their final general funds allocations for fiscal year 2009-2010. I am writing to provide all of you the context for these decisions.

When I last spoke to you in January via Stanford Report, the investment climate was difficult. You have all seen the worsening activity in recent weeks, with ongoing and precipitous declines on Wall Street, in real estate and private industry. Our budget planning assumptions estimated a loss in our endowment of 20 to 30 percent; that figure is now trending higher, and it is increasingly clear that it will be a long time before we see the endowment’s value return to previous levels. Since the endowment is the university’s primary source of investment income, the result will be a long-term decrease in university revenue.

Investment income supports about one-third of our campus operating costs. The other main revenue sources, federal research funding, tuition and clinical income, will not rise considerably. The trustees last month announced a 3.5 percent increase in tuition, room and board, and we believe at this time we cannot ask more from our students or their families. Their need for financial aid is rising and we are meeting those obligations. Federal economic stimulus programs that will increase research funding are encouraging, and we believe Stanford will be competitive in obtaining some of those funds. But any research stimulus the university receives will not be enough to counter other losses.

I am frequently asked why the university does not borrow or spend down the endowment to alleviate short-term budget pain. This in fact happens automatically due to our endowment spending policy and the “smoothing rule” I have described in earlier communications. In the current year, 2008-09, we will spend more than $900 million of the endowment to cover operating expenses, over and above the investment losses mentioned above. Next year we will spend nearly that much again. Clearly, spending even more than is allowed by our policy would be irresponsible. The endowment is meant to provide long-term support to the university for decades to come, not short-term relief for this difficult economic cycle. Consuming more now would simply delay unavoidable cuts by a year or two, and the cost would be long-term damage to the university’s future resources.

Given the decline in the endowment, the president and I are convinced we must adjust to a reduced level of investment income as quickly as possible. Earlier this year, I asked schools and administrative units to submit a range of possible budget reductions to eliminate as much as $100 million in base expenses from the $800 million general funds budget over the next two years. This week, I will reduce next year’s budget by almost that full amount. This will require virtually all units to take general funds cuts close to the 15 percent level and to achieve those reductions by September 1, the beginning of our 2010 fiscal year.

The impact of these reductions will vary from unit to unit, depending on what proportion of their budgets come from general funds. Most administrative units are entirely funded through general funds, while schools receive between seven and 35 percent of their revenue from this source. Schools that depend heavily on their own endowed funds will, of course, see declines in these revenues comparable to the general funds decline.

As I announced to the Faculty Senate last Thursday, we have also decided to reduce the university salary program. The university will not provide salary increases to either faculty or staff in fiscal year 2010. The only exceptions will be individuals promoted during the year, who will receive an increase appropriate to their promotion.

We hope that a salary freeze might help to preserve some jobs, although more layoffs are unavoidable. We understand that the cumulative impact of these decisions affects many loyal Stanford employees. These have been hard choices made very reluctantly, but we are convinced they are necessary.

We have also worked hard to identify other sources of savings. As announced earlier, we have cancelled or delayed $1.3 billion in proposed construction projects. We will move forward only on those projects that are already under way, or would be too costly to delay, or have significant sources of funding from outside the university budget.

Throughout the campus, many of you have looked for creative ways to achieve efficiencies: sharing office equipment, cutting back on energy usage, eliminating events, curtailing travel, using vacation balances. I commend all of you for your efforts. In these challenging circumstances, your help is extremely important.

We know that this continual news is unsettling. I encourage you to take advantage of workshops being offered now to all Stanford employees encountering uncertainty and organizational changes. You can find more details at

We also will continue our ongoing communication. President Hennessy will speak about the university’s financial situation in his annual address to the Academic Council, to which you are invited. We will at the same time convene a panel of our own academic experts to discuss the recent economic events. Mark your calendars for 4:15 p.m. on April 30 in Cubberley Auditorium.

http://hrweb.stanford.edu/. And information about the budget will be promptly posted to http://budget.stanford.edu/

. There you will find all budget-related communications from the president and me, as well as news from individual campus units.

 We are continually monitoring the economic situation and will take further actions as needed. We remain confident that our budget measures, while extremely difficult, are prudent to preserve the excellence of Stanford University in the years to come. We have weathered difficulties before and we have consistently emerged a stronger, more robust university. Thank you all for your ongoing patience and dedication.

Sincerely,
John Etchemendy
Provost”

So, the scary part is that it looks like Stanford is 1) having a salary freeze – which I thought would happen 2) layoffs are going to be happening. I know that everything depends on the specific departments, but it’s a scary thought that I might get laid off again. I really thought my job was secure because I really don’t think anyone else in the department can do it. But if push comes to shove, they will do what they have to do. I’m wondering if I should take this opportunity to get my resume updated. You just never know. I’m hoping if they do decide on layoffs, they will give us some time before it actually happens.  This way, I can start networking sooner than later. The economy is so bad out there just the through of looking for something is scary.

Our first lost of the season

I should have known the way we practice yesterday that tonight’s game was going to be bad. At practice yesterday, we had to set up the gym to make sure that we had everything for the game. We only had the gym 4:15-5:30, so having a full practice wasn’t going to happen. I basically had both teams scrimmage each other. And the way the varsity team played, should have warned me about tonight.

Tonight’s match aganist Gilroy was a bit challenging. The boys didn’t really play to their best ability. I believe it was all mental. Because the girl’s basketball team was playing their State game in the main gym, I think they were more interested in ending the match just so they could get over there to watch them.

Tomorrow is our first season game against Homestead. Homestead is ranked #1 for both Varsity and JV. So, if we can take both teams to the limit, I think the word will get out that Wilcox is a team to watch out for this season.

As for my day at work, it was very uneventful. It’s amazing when you put your mind to getting something accomplished, you can actually get it done. I’ve had one thing on my list to do since January and I just kept doing other things. I finally told myself that no matter what, I was going to process the honoriarum for Jennifer I for her work she did back in September. I know that’s sad that I put it off forever. I’m hoping that tomorrow, I can have that same mental game and just put my mind to it and get the little things accomplished so I can start to cross things off my list.

To add fuel to my fire, after our game, I can home with a massive headache. I have to get my eyes checked because they tend to burn now more than ever. Add that to my headache, and I’m not good company tonight. Luckily, Gary is very understanding.

I hope tomorrow night is better not only for me, but for everything in general.

Recap of 2008 so far…

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since January 1. I really thought I would get back into writing down my thoughts. I guess every day life gets in the way of things.

So, what have I been up to so far this year:

Volleyball
I’ve officially started coaching both boy’s high school team and girl’s club team. We’ve already had a couple of tournaments for the girls this year. My official comment about the girls is that if we could just keep the mental mistakes to a minimum, we’re going to be awesome. For what ever reason, they look like deers in headlights when we play our first match at each tournament. And than towards the end of the day when you would expect them to play terrible because they are too tired, they play awesome.

As for the boys, they are a totally differnt type of breed. We haven’t had a game yet. Our first game is on the 26th of February which is next week. I don’t have cuts because we don’t have that much interest in the sport, so we need to try to get more guys to start coming out. The bad part is some of the guys are still in other sports, so we haven’t had any time to work with them to see how good or bad they are. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet some of these newbies sooner than later. On the positive side, I did find a part time JV coach. His name is Jason. He just moved to Mt View with his wife and was looking to get back into coaching again. So, this was a perfect opportunity for him and me. Now, hopefully, I can just worry about the varsity team instead of both during practices.

On the negative side, I’ve had to deal with my first sexual harrassment issue. Apparently, one of the players got his shorts pulled down during one of my practices. The bad part about it was no one saw it happen including all of the boys. So, I had to lay down the law that if it happens again, I’ll close down the program. So, as luck would have it, apparently, that same kid got his butt touched during one of the games and didn’t like it. It’s not what it seems. If you know or watch guys playing sports, they get their butts slapped all the time. Apparently, this was one of those times. Now I have to pull this player aside and tell him that it’s just part of the game. There really wasn’t any sexual harrassment involved. And he should just tell the guys himself not to touch him there. I have a feeling if I say anything, it’s only going to cause more issues with this kid. This time around, I’m going to have my AD deal with the psyho mom and her son. They both scary me to the point that I don’t like to be alone with either one of them because I’m not sure what could or would happen.

Work
Work hasn’t changed much except I don’t have a direct supervisor anymore. My original supervisor changed Universities, so now I’m working for a faculty member. I’m still trying to figure out how to make things work. So, hopefully, I will eventually get the hang of everything.

Home Life
Gary and I celebrated Valentine’s Day last week at home watching a movie from On Demand and eating Chili’s. I had to coach, so going out when everyone else was out, was not an option. We actually did this last year and it worked out great. Just being at home makes all of the issues of the world go away. For Valentine’s Day, he did give me a dozen roses again. I’ll post a picture later when I finally get a chance to download them to Flikr.

Scrapbooking
Since January, I’ve scrapbooked about 15 pages. Now, this is a miracle for me especially since those 15 pages were done in January only and now we’re in February and my desk has the same project on it from the middle of January. I’m starting to go through my magazines again to get inspired. Scrapbooking is such a relaxing craft for me, that I need to start doing it more especially during this crazy time of year for me.

Weight Watchers
So, I joined up for another 17 weeks. The sad part is I’m only 5 pounds lighter than I was from this time last year. I really do need to get myself back in the positive mind set that I can do this giant task of losing weight. I saw a recent volleyball picture of myself and I can’t believe how big I looked. Then again, I was wearing layers of clothes because it was so cold at the tournament. I would love to get to my 10% by July. This way, if Gary and I go on vacation some where, hopefully, I can see the difference.

Gary is still maintaining his 144.4 weight. I’m so jealous. I wish I could have his head strong attitude.

Well, that’s it in a nut shell. I’m hoping I can keep up with this blog so I can have something to look back on to see how I’ve changed or not.

So, here’s to the everyday thing called life.

End of the Week…

I can’t believe that it’s already Thursday. I finally finished decorating the christmas trees last night. As soon as I take pictures, I’ll post pictures. I got a new tree this year too. This one is just for the many mini beanie baby ornaments that I’ve been collecting over the years. So, now I have a tree in the family room as well. It’s so cute. I’m just waiting to get pictures of Abu under it so I can make a scrapbook page of him under both trees.

The only thing left to do is my christmas town. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to do it this year. This is going to be my project for this weekend in between visiting Gary’s cousins who are visiting from Utah and practice on Sunday.

Work has been productive this week. It’s amazing how much work you can get done when you shut the door and just concentrate on accomplishing something. I finally updated a grant’s spreadsheet that took me 2 days to complete. I feel so much better that I have a true understanding on what’s going on with it. Now, I only have to update about 15 more grants and I’ll be all ready to move forward with actually reading every grant to understand what can and can not be used on each one.

I finally hired Fortune’s replacement. Latoya King. She’s awesome. She’s picked up everything that I’ve given her. She’s so helpful. I’m hoping she’ll help me stay updated on everything especially with my filing. I look forward to seeing what happens.

Well, here’s to the end of another week.

Updates so far 2007…Goals for 2008

I’ve been trying to update my new website vbscrapper.com, but it’s alot harder to do updates, so I’m going to see about just updating this site instead. We’ll see how long this lasts.

So, updates so far for this year:
1) I’m still coaching girl’s volleyball at Wilcox. I also coached boy’s for the first time this year. Boys are definitely easier than girls. They don’t cry when you yell at them.
2) During the boy’s season, I also coached a club volleyball team with Eclipse Volleyball Club. This was my first time coaching my niece. It was a little challenging at times trying to balance everything, but it worked.
3) I recently got promoted at Stanford to Finance and Operations Manager. This really is my dream job as long as I can actually do this job instead of the numerous other ones. I have one more position to fill before I can actually return to doing just my job. I’m looking forward to it.
4) I joined Weight Watchers again. I’m still down from my highest weight of 181 2 years ago. My goal now is to get down to 150. So we’ll see what happens. I am really movtivated now because of Gary. For the past 3 months, he lost 40 pounds. He works out faithfully daily and watches what he eats. He looks really good now. By losing this weight, I believe he’s feeling better about himself as well.
5) I finally finished our wedding scrapbook album.
6) I participated in my first holiday festival for “Pomroy’s Homemade Cards”. I had to create different types of holiday cards which I sold for $2.00 each. Once everything was done, I made about $210. Not bad for my first year.
7) I took off the entire week of Thanksgiving to work on holiday cards. On Monday, I worked 13 hours straight to get the family cards done. I got to mail them out on time so people will receive them the weekend after Thanksgiving. This was a great accomplishment for me.

Goals for 2008
1) I want to get down to 150.
2) I want to get my scrapbooking goals recorded properly. This will allow me the opportunity to do pages without having to think too much on what I should do.
3) I want to work on spending more quality time with Gary especially doing my crazy volleyball season.
4) I want to get a handle on my position at Stanford. By handle, I mean, I want to be able to do my job without having to ask for assistance on the day to day activities. I basically want to become a master of my job.
5) I want to get my Disney albums done. This includes our trip from 2005 & 2006. If I use sketches, this should make this process faster and easier to do.
6) I want to use up my scrapbooking supplies without having to purchase anything new except adhesives and cardstock. This will allow me to save a lot of money.
7) I want to keep an journal on-line to allow me to record what happens during my year. Either this website or vbscrapper.com.

Let’s see how well we finish 2007.