2.086 meetings, meetings

Wednesday 03/03/2021

Went for the usual walk first thing. Stopped at CVS on return to pick up two prescription renewals. Then shortly it was 10:30 and time for a zoom meeting I’d been waiting for, for quite a while. This was a catch-up meeting with the group of cataloging volunteers at CHM, with whom I’d spent many Thursdays for the prior couple of years, and not seen since 2019, really. There was one previous catch-up zoom meeting last fall, and I had just forgotten it. Wondered about “when’s that CHM meeting, should be about now” and looked in the calendar and it was the prior week. So I was careful not to miss this one; and Greta was careful to send out reminder emails in the preceding days.

The meeting was kind of a bust, although it was good to see the whole gang and all looking healthy. There was a presentation on the progress toward replacing our catalog software, Mimsy, except that the progress had been, well, not exactly nil, but not impressive either. The paid staff have been working from home at things like standardizing the nomenclature we use to describe artifacts (“super computer” or “supercomputer”? and what actually qualifies as a supercomputer?) which is useful but not exciting. They haven’t actually chosen a software vendor. The CHM CEO, Dan’l Lewin, is a former Microsoft executive, and has been pushing for a Microsoft partnership; Microsoft would like to “get into the GLAM market” where GLAM means “galleries, libraries, archives and museums”. So there’s no actual software being proposed yet, just a lot of wonderful hot air (IMO of course).

Between then and the 2pm meeting of the RA executive committee, a couple of things happened. One, by chance Mary Beth, the head of the CH Gift Shop, stopped by to talk to my cross-hall neighbor, and then came over to my room to let me know that the Gift Shop might not be such a source of funds for a while, as they are considering a remodel that will be expensive. The Gift Shop is the primary source of funds for the RA. They’ve been closed through the pandemic, and are now planning a reopening. So that was news to pass on to the Exec Committee.

Shortly after came an email from Kim the HR: the staff had met and talked about the volunteers and agreed that it was indeed time to wind up the program. With the relaxation of restrictions (we are able to visit each other’s rooms, share meals in the floor dining rooms, people are said to be sharing meals or drinks in each other’s apartments although that is not officially allowed) and the increase in activities (see re-opening Gift Shop above), the volunteer work is less important as a relief from loneliness and boredom. So Friday the 12th will mark the end of resident volunteer meal delivery. Came 2pm and I presented the first item, and together with Marcia presented the second.

Following I realized I needed to do a final tally of volunteers. Some time ago I wrote a program to read in a sign-up sheet and save the names of who signed up in a master record, with a tally of the times they’d volunteered. I ran it on the first few weeks of the program. Now I needed to run it on all of the weeks to now. That meant fussing with the code to fix an issue or two, and finding a way to apply it to 30 or 40 little spreadsheets. Took almost to supper time but I got it done. A total of 98 residents signed up for at least one task from August to now. 45 of them signed up for 20 or more tasks. The winner was the diminutive but vigorous Michele, who signed up for 175 things, mostly meal deliveries. She nosed out Colin who did “only” 152.

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