Friday, 17 August 2012


That's the rotas finished then. It meant a late night but we got there in the end.

Burton's new spreadsheet helps, of course. It runs the Worship rota, the Visiting rota, the Tea rota, Greeting rota, Flower rota, Music rota, Coffee rota, Gardening rota, Little Pebbles Kid's Club rota, Mid-day Club rota, Ladies' Bright Hour speaker rota (how did we get a Ladies' Bright Hour? And why do so many men attend? I have no idea. I really must get on the rota), the Overhead Projection and Underhand Deception rotas, the Doily Shed and Beaker Bazaar rotas and the Pilgrim Facilitation rotas (i.e hoovering the accommodation wing).

Each rota has its own tab on the sheet. But even so, with fifty or so Beaker People and approximately 14,000 slots to fill on a three-month rota, some clashes are bound to occur - not least where people have indicated they'll only do some things on Fifth Fridays and others on Wednesday during term time and so on.

Sometimes you can end up with the spreadsheet rota equivalent of a Deadly Embrace. At these points the spreadsheet just stops with a kind of exhausted look, and we have to brute-force events - or even cancel the Railway Enthusiasts' Fortnightly Gathering.

So we've got there now. Every Beaker Person in their places, all jobs filled and we're all sorted out. But I do sometimes wonder about the effort involved - are we making this too complicated, or do we need to put together a rota-makers' rota? Still, that's Xmas 2014 started. And the real trouble starts in November, when we put together the rota for Spring 2015.


  1. I love Rota's particularly when I don't collate them, but complain about them.

    I'm on a number of Rota's across five churches. Those who make the rota's and who can't be bothered to liaise with me in advance or with each other. So I often find myself being nominated for reading in one church, intercessions in another and as sidesman or welcome team.

    Being as flexible as I can, I can't possibly meet all of the conflicting demands placed on my presence, but, Oh, Joy, what an opportunity it gives for moaning at them, of demanding changes or alternatives and telling them that I am not going to exchange or liaise with anyone else.

    It's the height of inefficiency for those completing rota's to not check availabilities before nominating individuals for such duties.

  2. There are two schools of thought on the matter:

    1. Check everyone's schedules, re-check the people who didn't get back to you, repeat the re-check (interspersed with going back to the people who DID respond with questions like 'John can't do Tuesdays, could you do Tuesday, and then Mary will fill in for you and John will fill in for Mary?') and finally, several days past the deadline, get it out and wait for the complaints.


    2. Draw up a schedule (I think that's what 'rota' translates to) and send it around. If anyone doesn't show up or has to take the cat to the animal pyschiatrist or whatever and can't show up, leave it to the people on the ground to improvise a replacement.


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