So for my Library Administration class I have to take this budget I’m given, and cut it by 10%. Now, the last math class I had was Liberal Arts Math. Second semester Sophomore year. Six years ago. Math is not my strong suite. I loathe it. Never have been good at it, and my many moves as a Youngling and multiple schools didn’t help. I never really had a decent math teacher in middle or high school.
In the scenario I’m given, I’m the director of a new Latino Information Services Center. I have a budget of X amount and have to cut it by 10% and say what I would cut and why. Unfortunately, the assignment doesn’t tell me what my budget is. I’m told the salaries of myself and my employees, the cost of everything I’ll need, and told that 20% of my operational budget goes to the city the use of the building and utilities. Furniture will be provided, but not computers and everything else. But if I don’t know what the starting budget is, or what that 20% equals, how am I supposed to do anything? Luckily, I remember my eight grade Algebra. I remembered having word problems that were similar to this and something about cross multiplying some number with another number. So I started writing the formula out and it came to me! Phew!
So I cam up with the starting budget, cut it by 10%, figured out what that 20% number was and subtracted it from the budget, and then subtracted the salaries since I didn’t plan on touching those. That left me with $5,699 to play with. $5,699! “That’s it!” I said to myself. I quickly checked my math and the did the same math for the original budget. For the first budget I had $18,220 to play with. (Yeah!) That meant I had to cut $12,521. *Bangs head on desk* I cut everything I could, found cheaper computers, found cheap phone service, but that still left me with a little over 2K to cut.
That’s when my mom steped in. Thank the Force she used to do the books when we owned a business. And she’s always been more of a number person, where as I, for some inexplicable reason, take after my dad and am a words person. She’s been helping me try to figure out the rest. Where I can add stuff to pad the original budget and then cut it later so I have the bare minimum. I haven’t needed her help on homework in about 10 years, nor have I been able to ask her when I did need help anyway since everything was way over her head (like when I was almost failing geometry, or needed help citing for my first paper, or understanding Ethan Frome, which put her to sleep as I read it to her. While she was driving). She remembered we have to add in Health Insurance and Social Security. Oops.
But, it turns out balancing this damnable thing isn’t the only thing I have to do. Oh no, I have to write a short paper to go with it complete with references to outside sources of some sort. I hope references to Best Buy and the price of a Dell desktop counts because I don’t know where to look for literature on this subject, other than our textbook to say what kind of budget we are doing, or what exactly I could cite to support it. I asked my professor what to do on the last Case Study, and she told me I was making it harder and more complicated than it was. To someone who’s never had to do a Case Study, it is hard.
Did I mention that the due date for this one snuck up on me while I was reading all those YA novels?
This assignment just makes me realize even more that I am not cut out to be a director. Thank the Force real money isn’t involved here or I’d screw the whole bloody thing up.