Document Your Documentation

I have an aversion to “reports.”

My idea of fun is not compiling data into a comprehensive spreadsheet proving that work is indeed being done. That goals are definitely being met (or not). That my program is fulfilling its role within the agency.

I realize the importance of such documents. I even have sufficient documentation to back everything up. I just have a mental roadblock when it comes to actually gathering all the bits and making them into one final document.

Maybe it reminds me too much of school. Not that I didn’t like school. I did. But I was a procrastinator when it came to reports. I would get all the reading and assignments done ahead of time but when it came to the Big Report, it’d be midnight before it was due and me hammering away on some borrowed computer drinking coffee and then blearily turning in something that hopefully made sense. I wonder why I selectively procrastinate? I am not like this in any other area of my life. Not even with cleaning the cat box or taking out the recycling.(Ok, maybe with taking out the recycling.)

After years and years in the workforce it seems glaringly obvious that I am not a numbers person. I am a people person. I get results because I get people. I like action-oriented tasks that involve creativity. I enjoy negotiating solutions amongst groups of people. I’d prefer to give a presentation to 100 people rather than write a quarterly report.

Can you tell I have a report due? Today! And of course it is not nearly as finished as it should be (started). What’s something required of you at work that you just do not like doing? Give my misery company.

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Panegyric: 1. a eulogistic oration or writing, 2. formal or elaborate praise.

When I die, no one is going to wax panegyrically about my report writing skills.

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23 thoughts on “Document Your Documentation

  1. Paperwork. Of any kind. Evaluations. Of any kind.

    I went into education to work with students, not their test scores and evaluation reports.

    And I am a world-class procrastinator. I did most of my college papers an hour before they were due (and got much higher marks than those who toiled for days — tee hee).

    Obvious procrastination today as I have three tons of paperwork to do and I am commenting…

  2. However, they will say, that Sizzle was one heck of a blog writer! 😉
    My “thing” is procrastinating too. Housework especially. I guess it’s because it always wants doing…I’m never really done, It feels defeating. Not that it’s “terrible”, not that I can’t do it…but just gah. When am I really Done??

  3. I so vividly remember when I was a little girl, my dad complained so much about having to do reports that when people asked what my dad did for a living I said he did, “”ports!”
    And I am just like him, although I have a status report due every Monday that I’ve sort of grown to tolerate.
    BTW, the new pictures of Finny-poo in the corner brighten my day every day! 🙂

  4. Oh god, we have to do these bi-weekly reports where we spell out exactly what we’ve been working on for the previous two weeks. I know it’s to keep us accountable, because we’re part of the sales and marketing department, but I have a hard time rehashing every nitty gritty detail, especially when I’ve had a particularly slow week. Then it’s like pulling teeth.

  5. First of all, I feel AppleTree’s pain.

    Secondly, I too am guilty of procrastination. And I’m jealous that you used a computer for your papers. In my college days it was all about the typewriter.

    Finally, I love having to email a list of job sites twice a week to the safety manager because he’s too lazy to go look at the board.

  6. Mine is purely that I have an aversion to the phone. I blame it on a bad job as a telemarketer, but now whenever I have to call anyone I don’t know personally, or anyone who’s not a customer service rep, I freak out. I put it off, I dial the number and hang up, really it’s a problem when you work in marketing…

  7. I.Am.NOT.A. Numbers. Person.
    Yet? I had an accountant for a father. What a disappointment I was…

    We just had our year-end reports due for the bank. I had to whip all that stuff together and have a few loose ends to finish for taxes (farmers have to file March 1). It’s a pain, but I do it as Hubs claims he doesn’t know how to run the computer. 😉 It is my absolutely WORST time of the year. So glad when it is all “put to bed”… I’m 3/4 of the way there. The bank is done, now just need to finish the tax stuff. I’m sooo looking forward to that.

    I feel for you. Really.

  8. I stall on a lot of things too. I KNOW if I just did it and got it over with I would be done and feel so much better and yet I can always find a million things that I can do to avoid doing the actual work part. Good luck! You should see me each month when I do the expenses for my home daycare. About three hours are spent procrastinating, while only about 30 minutes are spent doing actual work. If only I could force myself to just get it over with I could avoid all the mental exhaustion it all brings!

  9. I, personally, hate housework. The never ending aspect of it gets to me… the fact that, even as I do laundry, I am creating MORE LAUNDRY TO BE DONE. No wonder so many housewives default to drugs.

  10. Tell me you don’t work in project management, and if you don’t tell me you never will. You’d be miserable. A former PM, I can tell you we document for the sake of documenting. Not, that I enjoyed it however.

  11. Awww Sizzle. Wish I could be there to help. Or at least offer some humor. I am a rarity in that I do the spreadsheet number thang as well as the writing creative thang as well as the people thang. One thang I hate is editing anything written by our once-engineers-now-consultants. The poor use of our English language mixed with oh too many details is a cocktail for annoying the crap out of this gal. Needless to say, I call it job security when I’m feeling particularly low about it. 🙂

  12. I have three months of shit to catch up on… I feel your pain. If I read your blog, we could have IM’d through Gmail and updated each other up on our progress. Let me know if you’re up for a little buddy-buddy giddy-up chat to get motivated in the future.

    For now, I’ll just stay lazy.

    Hope you got it done!

  13. I procrastinate on returning calls when I know they’re not going to tell me what I want to hear.

    I hate when I report back to my boss on something he asked me to check on, and he says, Can you double-check that? *rolling my eyes and shaking my head*

  14. When I was in school, I waited until the last second to write reports. I would do the research well in advance, but writing always got put off.

    Now, in the working world, I realize that what I do impacts many others. They need my data to do their jobs that have deadlines as well. So I’ve made it a point to get stuff done as early as possible. My boss is a procrastinator and it hurts the rest of us badly.

    No, I’m not guilting you at all. Just pointing out what it’s like for me.

  15. You can come deal with my people and I will do your reports. I am so sick of people….. I am tired of managing people, I am ready to just manage numbers.

    I hate scheduling. I procrastinate doing my schedules every week. They are horrible. And I hate dealing with interpersonal issues between my staff. Behave already. This is a job, not high school.

  16. Good luck. I’m a last minute report kinda gal myself. I like the Ellen quote: Procrastination is the solution, not the problem. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off!

  17. I love spreadsheets. I love to be organized. I love lists. I *am* a numbers girl.

    However, I work best under pressure.

    This may or may not create a lot of self-inflicted stress. 🙂

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