My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor


***While I recover from jet lag and sift through my 137 work e-mail messages, I present you this guest entry by fellow D-lander and development colleague, Smedindy! I'll be back tomorrow with any luck. Take it away, Smed!

Well, hello everyone here in Freshhell land! I'm Smed, purveyor of Smed's Corner, in case you didn't know me.

It's an honor and a privelege to share her space, and I will do the best I can while she is out galavanting on the other side of the continent.

As you may or may not know, we hold similar jobs. We both work at small, private, liberal arts colleges in the fundraising and development area. I work as the Director of Advancement Services I know exactly what she does, the processes she goes through, and some of the headaches involved.

I know this because I had to fill in for my researcher for about six months when she was on maternity leave, while we were in the middle of a campaign. Talk about trial by fire, but somehow, we muddled through!

In my shop, I have gift and pledge entry, donor relations, prospect management, and the alumni database under my wing. (Oh, gosh,, it gets interesting, trust me!) Basically, I run the back office - I make sure things are ticking along and giving our staff, and the alumni we serve, the best service possible. Believe me, that's not easy, because even in a College enviornment, things can devolve into madness such as Office Space or Dilbert toot-sweet.

One thing that people do not understand is the time that it takes to generate certain reports. Yeah, everything should be push-button in this day and age. Well, they haven't dealt with alumni databases, have they?

Think of almost everything about you - name, address, phone numbers, job title and status, spouses name and employment information, children's names, parents names, other relatvies, colleges attended, degrees received, reunion classes, college activites, alumni activities, other civic activities, events attended, etc. etc.

Add to that some of the OTHER information we research and store about people, and it's a staggering amount of data, and I'm not even getting into the donation records of someone.

As you can see, the databases are complex, and to get non-standard reports out of them takes some time. (It took forever to get our standard reports to come out just right).

So when someone wanders into my office at 2:30 on a Friday wanting some address lables for a mailing they want to get our right away, I may not be the most accomodating person in the world. (I think snarly would be a good way to describe my reaction...)

However, working at a college is great. You feel your actually doing something that benefits society, instead of lining the pockets of THE MAN. You see how just a few dollars can change the life of a deserving student. You can absorb the learning that is going on by just hearing the serendipitous conversations around campus.

It took me almost 12 years to get back to my alma mater after several job changes, but I'd be a durn fool to leave right now. Well, unless someone offers me a gunny sack full of money every two weeks. And they better be Jacksons, Grants, and Benjamins in that sack too!

That's the report from the Indiana correspondent. You can wipe the sleep from your eyes, and get back to regular programming!


9:47 a.m. ::
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