HR Contingency Meeting November 2008

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  • Ryan's duties to be covered
  • Other duties to be covered
  • Ryan's replacement
  • Build coordinator position


  • Date: Thurs. Nov. 13 2008
  • Attendance: Len, Richard, Mike M., Adam, Megan, Moe, Ryan, Ifny
  • Facilitator: Ryan
  • Scribe: Ifny

Ryan's duties to be covered

Ryan's position has been "Reuse coordinator" (as described in First Interim HR Workgroup Report (from March 11 2008)

Snip (Wikified):

3.3.Reuse and Infrastructure Coordinator

This position is concerned with managing the flow of hardware through the various testing and evaluation stages to its various destinations (build, store, hardware grants, or back to recycling).

Inflow pickup coordination has been placed with the Reuse Coordinator under the assumption that they are an expert in knowing what the organization needs to fulfill its mission of distributing hardware to those in need. Traditionally, it has been managed more from a revenue-oriented viewpoint. It could be argued that the Revenue Coordinator has the best expertise to 'value' the potential pickups monetarily; this is a topic for further discussion.

An infrastructure coordinator is included on a part-time basis primarily for maintenance needs. New infrastructure development should be undertaken only as time allows.


  • Reuse
    • Eval 1 & 2
    • Testing
    • Build
      • Gathering
      • Assembly
      • Installs
    • Sorting
      • Hard drives (*1)
    • Rerouting
      • Store stock
      • Hardware grants (in conjunction with Communications Coordinator)
    • Planning and arranging inflow pickups (in conjunction with Revenue Coordinator)
  • Infrastructure
    • Maintenance
      • Testing stations
      • Database admin
      • Network admin
      • Hard drive wiping station
    • Development
      • Ticketing system
      • Asterisk server
      • Software engineering
      • etc

Ryan reported what he does regularly (in addition to duties common to all staff)

  • spends most time in the mezz
  • coordinating
  • reuse
  • sorting
  • testing
  • teaching vols stations
  • interfacing with store whouse
  • builders
  • building machines
  • helping warehouse unloading trucks, stations, documenting, helping decide flow evaluation
  • systems infrastructure
  • software
    • maintaining network/implementation,
    • fgdb
    • asterix
    • calendar
    • quality control
    • scripts,
    • adoption classes
  • test infrastructure
    • memtest
    • drive test
    • code for stations
  • adhoc testing
  • triage (scrap vs. keep)
  • 60-70%
    • Answering questions (volunteers' and staff's technical issues primarily)
    • Making decisions
  • 20%
    • System maintenance
    • Small increments of development/improvement (not enough time)

Sidenote: Real world programming experience is the most helpful when looking to replace system admin, rather than experience with specific languages.

Other duties to be covered

  1. Bank signator
    We need a new one in addition to Sean. Ifny can do this.
  2. Payroll communications with ADP
    Ifny can do this but part time staff need to make sure they get their hours to her on time.
  3. Bank deposits (can be done by anyone)
    Staff will take care of this everyday, they will work out the details. Spot checks will be done.
  4. Online sales
    Staff will keep their eyes peeled for special items. We won't focus on this so much for the time being.
  5. Laptop/LCD repair
    Laptops and LCDs will get evaluated as they come in. If they turn on, they will be rebuilt by build volunteers. If they don't pass they will go into storage at the Hackery for the time being.
    We need to collect better numbers about how many hours per machine/screen it takes to rebuild, how many items pass initial evaluation, how many items are sold through the store. This will enable proper cost benefit analysis.
  1. Point of contact for bigger clients
    Client care and outreach can fall to Ifny. Pickups coordination and client care can also be handled by Adam, since he arranges 3rd party trucking.
  1. Misc recycling (shipping, paperwork)
    Adam will take care of this
  1. Accountant/Bookkeeping
    Free Geek is getting bigger. The books are getting better too.
    • Bookkeeping: We need someone 1 day a week or so to handle bookkeeping. Sean H. helps us with this as best he can, but it would be good to have a regular person.
    • Accounting: We need someone a few times a year to help with this (quarterly?)
    Either we will hire someone or ask for a professional to donate their time.

Ryan's replacement

Ryan's suggestions: His role has changed recently, now volunteer stations are more autonomous with more staff having come on. FG doesn't have to replace this aspect.

  • Hire build coordinator
  • Extend build coordinator role to production coordination. They will make sure outlets are supplied with equipment, could include all hardware
  • (??) Formalizing some things
  • (??) Coordinating with receiving how is eval working, we need these certain kinds of things/machines, letting staff know, when there is too much stuff adjusting, e.g. servers, cards, run as lean as possible. managing store/build/scrap
  • Inventory system (already in development)
    • db, point of sale, 'printme' system tracking like FGPDX
    • system for creating records for widgets, adding counts to them, description for testing, pricing, db/server/client/webfront end
    • Ryan estimates it would take 2 months full time commitment

Much discussion ensued about production coordination, systems administration needs, build needs and coordination/flow vis a vis other areas of Free Geek. Hiring is challenging due to the approaching holidays.

Q: is it fair to make this one position, or are we setting someone up to

be overworked?

  • Some people think it is definitely too much for one person; we should have a separate position (e.g. Production Coordinator)
  • Since the Build program will require getting a lot of things running at first, the Build Coordinator may have more time later to handle bigger issues of supplying the build program (more in line with production duties and coordinating betwixt store and warehouse).
  • A: It's too early to tell.

Ifny: Vancity is giving us $42,000 that must be used specifically for the Build program

  • $21,000 is for a Build Coordinator
  • $21,000 is for a Hardware Grants/Education Coordinator
    The description of these positions in the grant application is Here

Between those two positions, there are many areas of crossover with production/systems maitenance that relates directly to Build, so some of these duties can naturally be distributed between those two people. Just to clarify, we have old $ for ryan, new money $ for build coordinator, new $ for hardware grant coord.

  • Software infrastructure/sysadmin could be part time
  • What falls through the cracks after we hire a Build Coordinator:
  • Hadware Grant
  • Education
  • Coordinating system development


  • Hire a build coordinator immediately. In the job description, mention that the scope of the position may increase in future.
  • Depending on the skills of the person we hire, we will know better what areas remain to be covered.
  • Hardware Grant/Education Coordinator can follow as soon as possible. along with redistribution of other workload (software development, system administration, production coordinator, etcetera)
  • Ifny and Ryan will write Build Coordinator position and post it.
  • Ryan is willing to stay into January, since hiring during the holidays is challenging.