Taking Note

This week's topic: Plus a change.

Overheard at the Women and Aging group meeting at Tang Center: "I know this sounds really trivial, but for some time I've been worrying about one question... whether I should color or not." Another, more poignant, remark attributed to the same group: "I was young when I came to work here."

On a related note: Sign of spring spied on North Shattuck: two elderly ladies chatting, sunglasses on, each pushing her own wheelchair carefully down the sidewalk.

Mark Samuel's "Taking Advantage of Change" workshop for staff is a thought-provoker. Mark, a real showman, by the way, gives you the true meaning of such obscurities as "buy-in," "accountability," and the intricacies of team work. One nugget: a demonically clever way to present the need for change so there's actually a choice about whether to accept it or not. But I warn you, in his scenario, you'd always choose change! Another tale he spins is of a company where all devotedly tickled the keys of their IBM Selectrics (this was back when) and fought the thought of switching to those confusing you-know-whats. Sounds silly now, but to be sure, 'twas true. And they're no longer around, reminds Mark.

Mark's happening is essentially the same as that presented for our managers, and goes on stage several days most every month through October at Tang Center or Alumni House. If you can spare the time, check it out. Jane at Human Resources, 643-7226, can get you on the roll.

Staff ombudsperson Ella Wheaton and new associate staff ombudsperson Margo Wesley are making the rounds of staff organizations to get feedback on the statement of principles and values we all got in the mail recently. Have your list ready. Says Ella, the ombuds office is a barometer of employee issues and needs and "representative of fairness, equity and treatment with respect and civility." Fine words, and well said.

Among concerns Ella and Margo got from one staff group: the ever-present child care, fostering a greater sense of community, more open communication...and a call for a web page directory.

A well-deserved plug here for the staff ombudsers: Services to resolve work-related problems and conflicts are confidential, informal, impartial and non-adversarial and are available to all staff, student employees, and managers of staff.

Another thing of the past: Friends of the Botanical Garden, in its current form at least, has dissolved. "We anticipate that an advisory council selected from among the membership of the friends will be formed," says a letter to members from Friends President Errol Mauchlan and Joseph Cerny, vice chancellor of research, which explains the changes in light of the campus's assuming a more direct management role in the garden.

Makeover: Look in on 150 University Hall--site of regents meetings of yore (when systemwide folks lived at U Hall) and current venue of many Human Resources programs. This chamber had truly fallen on hard times, its condition just short of embarrassment. New carpet, chairs and curtains are going in and paint and refinished paneling and table top top it off. A tip of the top hat to Physical Plant and Public Ceremonies for this.

The Chancellor's Quick Weight Loss Diet: Ever on the move, Tien drops in on three luncheon events during one lunchtime.

Result: No lunch! -- F.M.


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