Last Words: Ponderosa problems and disconnection stress

Ponderosa residents still plagued by problems

Another week, another UBC rez problem -- once again, in Ponderosa.

The problems plaguing UBC's newest rez were, at least to some small extent, understandable in the first year of its operation. The construction was quite rapid and kinks have to be ironed out. But to have major problems like a broken elevator (in a tall building!) continuing for months on end is unacceptable.

We understand, of course, that some problems take longer than others to remedy. One of our editors lived in a building where the elevator broke and the part took two months to arrive. The problem lies in that the issues with the rez are far from limited to the elevator. Since the building opened, we've been hearing and receiving a near-endless onslaught of complaints about Ponderosa.

Ponderosa residents are being forced to wait up to 20 minutes for an elevator -- making what should be a short commute to class as bad as living off campus.

We're tired of talking about the university not being subject to the Residential Tenancy Act, but at times their skirting of convention -- if not law -- is so blatant it's hard to ignore it. If UBC is going to charge at- or above-market fees for residence, they should provide at- or above-market service.

Not checking your email can be stressful, too

A pair of UBC psychologists conducted a study finding that checking your email too frequently could lead to elevated levels of stress. The researchers recommend turning off email notifications so you’re not bothered by them while working or relaxing. We editors at The Ubyssey can understand the importance of this study, as we get hundreds of emails every week -- but that’s exactly why we can also pick out its flaws.

Section editors rely on many of the newsletters and press releases in our inboxes as sources for story ideas. When working on stories, we have to stay in touch with multiple sources. We all manage dozens of volunteers. On days when news is slow, we often have no choice but to check our emails as frequently as possible, regardless of how frustrating it can be to see an empty unread folder. If we were to only check our emails about three or so times per day, as the study suggests, we could miss important breaking news, miss out on interview opportunities, and be unable to help volunteers scrambling with deadlines. So much of our work depends on timeliness that stress will always be an obvious factor of our jobs, regardless of how frequently we check our emails.

We can certainly understand how worrying less about work in general may lead to less stress -- for some jobs. But in journalism and many other industries, if you don't stay on top of things and remain aware of what's going on, you not only won't be more stressed -- you might not have a job to worry about for much longer.