A day in the life of the Director of Finance & HR

(with apologies to Bridget Jones)

Wednesday 23rd June 2021

08.30 – Arrive at College, trying to find my mask in the bottom of my bag whilst juggling keys and trying one handed to open the door (Why do all the locks go the different way to what I am expecting?). Make a coffee in my office.

Dress: Linen shift with jacket over (looks smart on Zoom calls), trainers and socks (nobody can see them and I will change into shoes in a minute)
Number of coffees today: 3

09.00 – Daily ops meeting on Teams. A bit of chat with staff as they come on to the call, before we get in to the serious business of how many in isolation/testing positive/how many meals require delivering/dealing with rubbish etc.

Dress: Still looking smart on the top end, still in trainers on the bottom! Will change in a minute.
Number of coffees today: Still 3

09.15 – Time to start my real work. I love a good spreadsheet! It’s the time of year when I work on setting the budgets for the next financial year. Manage 45 minutes uninterrupted.

Dress: as above – still not managed to change out of my trainers
Number of coffees: 4 (can’t manage spreadsheets without a coffee to hand)

10.00 – Meet in Senior Tutors office to review applications for bursaries and grants.

A meeting in the Senior Tutor’s Office (pre-pandemic)

Dress: Still in trainers – it’s a long way from my office to Senior Tutor’s now that we have to follow the Covid routes!
Number of coffees: 5 (Senior Tutor makes great Swedish coffee)

11.30 – Start delivery of meals to students in isolation. 70+ meals today.

Dress: Plastic apron, plastic gloves and face mask, plus trainers – it’s a long way up to Cranmer C and back, can’t do that in heels.

12.30 – Working lunch with operations working group, managing testing, isolations etc.
No lunch because a: I wasn’t organised enough to bring something from home this morning and b: didn’t have time to go out and buy something, so have yet another coffee. How I miss being able to eat in Haughton dining room!

Dress: Back to dress and trainers
Number of coffees: 6

At Linton Bar

15.00 – Online meeting with bar treasurer to go over bar finances. Not looking good! Covid restrictions and closure mean the bar has been losing money all year.

Dress: As I started the day
Number of coffees: still 6!

16.30 – Meal delivery’s part II. See 11.30 above.

17.10 – Head to Chapel for final Choral Evensong of the year. Looking forward to sitting in the quiet and letting the glorious sounds of our Chapel Choir wash over me. Arrive at the door to find the Warden brandishing a bible and saying – will you do the reading, it’s the parable of the dishonest manager, nothing personal! Run back to College to get my reading glasses, bang goes my chances of just sitting and letting it all wash over me.

18.00 – Arrive at drinks reception for Summer Soiree, after quick change into eveningwear. Realise I cannot fasten the back of my dress and have to go out in to the garden for help. First person I spot is Molly who comes to my aid – needs to be written in to President’s job description!

Dress: Long black evening gown with sparkly neckline (now properly fastened) and finally some heals!
Drinks: 6 coffees + 1 Pimms

18.45 – Sit down for dinner in Leech Hall. Small high table of four, but Principal joins for desert and to give the after dinner speech.

Dress: As above
Drinks: 6 coffees + 1 Pimms + 1 red wine (decided to pass on the after dinner coffee)

20.00 – Walk around the gardens/bar, as College Officer on duty ensuring everything happening in a Covid safe way. Everyone having a good time sitting on hay bales and listening to the music.

Dress: Jeans, jumper and back in to trainers!

21.00 – Porter on duty finds me to say we have another positive case confirmed. Go back to the office to manage the sending of emails/putting up signs/informing catering for the next day.

22.00 – Head home. Fall in to bed, with the phone under my ear. As College Officer on duty I am fully expecting to be called out for something or other, but end up having a peaceful night!

Who says accountants have a boring job!

By Angela Cook

Director of Finance & HR

Enjoying a rare game of croquet

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