Last semester with the retirement of a highly powerful mage that worked in my office I was bestowed the responsibility of key and FOB master (Fobs are Near Field Communication devices that we use instead of small chips in ID cards). Being entrusted with these newly assigned tasks was unexpected and it was welcome even though this meant that my own level of accountability needed to increase as well. For anyone who has ever worked in Residence Life the sheer number of keys can be absolutely overwhelming because you need several keys for each room in addition to any office keys. Furthermore anyone who has had access to or responsibility for a “master” key is aware of the significant financial and employment risks if that key is missing after your name is the last one to use it. Keys force a person to become more organized because they are equivalent to a person’s safety within their residence hall.

This post is not meant to simply say “I AM THE KEY MASTER, MWAHAHAHA!” but I have recently come back into power over keys and FOBs. However, this time I have been a little more reflective and trying to wonder why I like this so much (other than the obvious answer of “You’re weird”).

Reason 1: Detective Work

Weird things happen in communities of humans. When I see a random key or FOB on my desk I already have a smile on my face because I now have a mystery to solve! I really enjoy the process of determining whose key/FOB that I have with little to no information. Oftentimes my co-workers will hear me exclaim “Well that’s interesting” after making a discovery that gets me closer to the truth. Work days can become rather dull and I like these small adventures.

Reason 2: Creating Procedures

In just a couple of days I have completed 95% of a written procedure guide for student and professional staff because I had seen weaknesses in our system and wanted to correct them. I was given unbridled (more or less) creativity to do whatever I needed to make the system more manageable, traceable, and easy to understand/teach. Our office workers were integral to this process because I sought their feedback to ensure that we were creating procedures that were easy not only for professional/office staff, but for students as well.

Reason 3: Forced Organization

From chaos I created order. While doing minimal detective work and create procedures I felt that I was using magic to clear up a mess from a dramatic sequence in a film. As I mentioned earlier, keys are a high accountability subject and they need to be in their proper place. This forces me to be organized because there is little room for the phrase “I’ll figure it out later.”

I know that I have an adventure tomorrow as I still have a mystery or two to solve.

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