In the school setting there is an adorable little phrase that is used to nicely state: “I have to do this task a lot, but it wasn’t part of my job description”. The phrase is: “Here at (fill in your school name here), we wear many hats”. I’ve come to dislike this phrase because I believe that people should be paid accordingly for ALL the work that they are expected to do. In my first few years at Beaver my actual job description included: “unofficial school nurse”, “athletic trainer” and “PE teacher”. However, I also wore the “equipment manager hat”, the “scoreboard operator hat” the “locker and uniform distributer hat”, the “advisor hat” and lots of other colorful hats. Some teachers took pride in their many hats… I, on the other hand would have preferred a little more compensation for all the extra work.
Now that I’m self-employed those extra hats have disappeared and everything I do is part of my job description. With per diem work, there is something to be said for just showing up, watching a game, tending to athletes’ needs, doing some quick paperwork and then going home. It’s nice not to be expected to do anything except athletic training and I do it better now that I don’t have to worry if the bases made it out to the softball field or if little Suzy needs a kilt NOW! Yeah, I don’t miss being expected to wear those extra hats, but every now and then at per diem gigs, I’ll offer to pitch in with non-athletic training tasks as long as everyone is aware that my first priority is athletic training and I will be ditching the additional hat immediately if someone needs me for an injury. I don’t mind helping with a scoreboard here and there. At camps, sometimes I’ll help out with the snack shack, or shagging balls at tennis camp. I mean, let’s face it; keeping busy makes the long camp day go by faster. Also, offering to help with extra tasks and being a team player at per diem jobs is a surefire way to get requested back.
So, what’s the difference between doing these extra tasks as an employed AT vs. a per diem AT? I’m not 100% sure, but I think it has something to do with offering to go above and beyond as opposed to being expected to do this on a regular basis.
Readers: What are your thoughts on “wearing hats”? What are some of the hats that you wear? All comments are encouraged and welcome!