One Card, One Person - You are NOT Alone
Posted By Monica Seko, NACCU member from DeSales University
Are you overwhelmed after the pandemic year we had? Do you feel like you haven’t had a vacation or can take a sick day because no one can help you while you are out? Are you pulled in 1,000 different directions in a single day? You are not alone!
Many of us are operating as a One Card office program and have some back up. We use students or staff that may help with only some of our systems, but for the most part we are on our own with troubleshooting issues. We are handling issues by phone, in-person, sometimes remotely depending on the time of day or situations. This can be very stressful, time consuming, and overwhelming. I know for myself, I end up working more hours during the day or week (sometimes weekends) because systems go down, time of year for orientations, budget proposals, etc. Did I mention you are not alone? Let me explain…
During the pandemic, hours felt like days, weeks, and months with no break. I was afraid to take a day off because no one knows my systems as well as I do. I was working so much that my family didn’t really see me. I didn’t have time to take a break for a vacation because we had so many changes to make before the start of the next school year. I had to implement mobile ordering, online photo submission, answer calls about refunds from Spring (after we were locked down), prepare for a virtual orientation, and a multitude of other projects. To say I was exhausted, does not even describe it. I was burned out before the Fall 2020 semester even began. I tried taking vacation but ended up working most of it. I didn’t have time to take a sick day because I was able to work remotely and not take care of myself. Thankfully, I was not sick this past year, but the struggle is real! The fear, the anxiety, the feeling of disappointment because you need to get things done. Yes, I am there too and you are not alone!
What helped me through this whole process and keep some of my sanity in check? I talked to other schools. I have met a lot of people in the last 8 years I have been working for DeSales and I started to reach out to them. I networked with everyone I knew in all aspects of my job. To talk to them not only helped me get through these rough times, but also made me feel that I was not struggling on my own. We were all feeling the pressures of our job, the declining mentality it was taking on us and our families, the burn out we were feeling before the year even started. We started a weekly “Sanity Check” after the start of the new year. We would call each other to bounce off ideas, troubleshoot issues, or just talk about other things in our life to not focus on work 24/7. This was a huge change for everyone, but knowing that I have a group of friends and colleagues who are in the same boat as me or can provide me with the help I need, I have never been more proud to be a part of such an extraordinary group!
So my advice to you, if you haven’t already…reach out and talk to everyone you know. We are all struggling and trying to make heads or tails of all these changes that come as rapid fire. Take some time for yourself by calling a friend or colleague who is struggling too. You will realize that these “Sanity Checks” will help you not feel overwhelmed, frustrated, stressed, or disappointed because “You are NOT alone!”
Monica Seko is the Manager of Campus Card & Dining Systems at DeSales University for over eight years. She has been a member of NACCU for the past two years and participates on the Technology Committee.