Thursday, August 05, 2010

What does it mean to be an Associate Director?

Today we had an evacuation drill. This is different from a mere fire drill. The evacuation drill involves clusters of men in suits standing on the sidewalk watching the event. Guards stop traffic so we can cross the street to our staging point and people run around with clipboards checking off names. These drills are practice to see what happens when we try to evacuate the building if there is a major catastrophe. We've known the date and time and all the rules for for over a month. We've known that if we don't go to the appointed site and get checked in no one will be able to go back to the office. Most people managed to be somewhere else for the event. I ended up being one of the few A.D.s present.

It all went pretty smoothly until we returned to the library and found the guard at the door saying she couldn't let us in because she hadn't gotten the All Clear yet. As we were melting on the front steps I heard the alarm going off in the building. This was not a situation that was going to self-heal any time soon. So I headed back to the staging area to look for the cluster of men in suits. My, they must be sweating. It's 90 degrees today. Why do they insist on wearing coats in this summer weather? Well, anyway I found the gaggle of admins and asked if anyone of them could help out. Of course they couldn't but they found a flunky with a cell phone and sent him around the building to let us in. We were let in and they will probably turn off the alarm before too, too long.

So that's what an A.D. does. Instead of waiting for someone on the evacuation team to figure it out, the A.D. is 'pro-active' and wrassles up some help.  Forget about managing budgets or getting licenses signed. The real work is doing the obvious when no one else will.