So very much of my work for the last few weeks has led up to today. I am hosting our first ever open house for our faculty. We have invited them all in to check their orders, see if their books are on the shelves and to have a few nibbles while we talk to them about their particular courses and any issues they may have with their books. We have worked tirelessly to get as many books on the shelves as possible, to process any orders that have come in, to change out shelf tags so prices are correct, to buy back as many books as possible from the students and to be just ready by today. I am doing this because many times, students will go to class unprepared and when the professor calls on them they say "Oh- the bookstore didn't have my books."- which leads to an irate call to us- only for the faculty to find out that we do in fact have books on the shelf. Or- we will order books based on a sales history only to find out a week into classes that the class enrollment has exploded and there are double the usual number of students so we have run out. We also make mistakes and this way we will have two weeks to correct those problems. I thought that if we could head some of these problems off at the pass- it would make for a smoother semester for all of us, especially since we are shorter on staff this year. We were not able to meet my goal of getting every book in our back room out on the shelf for today- but we know what is back there and can intellegently answer questions about titles that have not hit the shelf as of yet.
After today- I have two days to "clean up" any problems, place new orders and then one to get everything in place to begin processing our online book reservations and make my lists for what needs to be done during my vacation and generally making sure everything is prepared for me to be able to spend the week of Christmas with my parents. When I get back- we open the textbook section for the Spring semester and really gear up for the kick off to the year. At the beginning of the year we start two to three weeks of twelve hour days again before things really calm down on February first. We are very fortunate that for the next month we have extra help in the students who work for us and we can really dig in and get everything done without having to do everything ourselves. There will be a lot of overseeing- because I am pretty neurotic that way- but I am finally feeling confident that we will be able to complete everything we need to do.
I am feeling much calmer and more at peace with where we are today and that will mean that I can sleep better at night at least for a little while. My hands have been protesting so I did a nice paraffin dip last night and today I am wearing braces where needed but so far (knock on wood) I have avoided a flare- which is amazing, so there is that to be grateful for as well. Plus there is the fact that starting Friday at 10- I am on vacation- which is much, much needed. All in all, I am feeling very grateful for all that we have gotten done in the last few weeks and for the "calm before the storm" of the next few weeks.