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focus: making the most of an unexpected day

With my new job, for the first time in many years, I am an hourly employee instead of salaried. While there is certainly an advantage to having a Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm kind of schedule, the transition into that schedule has actually not been an easy part because I'm the only one in a seven-person department who is hourly, and in part because that's just not how my brain functions after so many years of extended-hours work.  
It also means that my Director and I have to be very thoughtful about when I need to work overtime, and where I can use comp time to balance at least some of that overtime without taking away from the ongoing responsibilities of my position. Thus it was that I found myself taking this past Friday as a comp day - to help offset the many extra hours I'd worked during our "start of the semester" busy season.
Initially, I was frustrated - because any time a busy season subsides, I want to turn my attention back to other work that m…

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