Working in a government facility, I get a lot of interesting insight as to how our local government functions. There are many different moving parts that contribute to the greater good, and many of the people who I work with are invaluable. I serve under the Clerk and Deputy Clerk along with the other interns, and I have learned a great deal while in the office. This internship was the first time I was actually put in charge of events and people, and it has given me a lot of good experience in terms of leadership skills.
When I first started working in the office, I was given the task of mastering the electronic poll book we use on election day, creating a manual and powerpoint for the system, and training the volunteers who will work at the precincts. It doesn’t sound too bad at first, but when I started delving into the system, I realized I was the only one who was going to have extensive knowledge on how the E-Poll Book worked. It was my responsibility to ensure that the twenty poll workers knew how to work the system well enough to avoid problems on election day, and if they didn’t, the elections could transform into a nightmare.
When I first started making my manual, I focused on getting to know the system and figuring out what to do when something went wrong. I wanted to know what problems that frequently arose so I could write out instructions on how to handle these issues. I asked for help when I was completely lost, but for the most part, I tried to figure it out by myself to alleviate some responsibility from my supervisors. This was hard at first because I had to problem-solve by myself a lot, but soon I learned to rely on my abilities and trust what I knew. I finished my manual with an extensive knowledge of the E-Poll Book and more confidence in myself and my abilities.
Once I was finished with that, I had to move on to trying to translate what I wrote in the manual to a powerpoint so I could teaching trainees about the system. This was a little easier because I was used to talking in front of people and giving presentations (thanks to a lot of school projects). I have my training dates coming up, and I’m still doing a lot to prepare for them. I have to find a way to make sure that the people are comfortable enough with the system that they can run it by themselves for a full day.
Teaching young adults like myself how to work a new system is easy, however, part of the problem that I am presented with is that more than 75% of the people I’m training are older citizens who are either retired or looking for a way to help their community. Trying to teach older people who to work a complex system is a complex challenge that I have been trying to solve, however, through a lot of troubleshooting and figuring out problems, I have learned to rely on myself and what I can do.