Thursday, September 13, 2007


Nothing helps distract you from the daydream of making love to a beautiful green-eyed man than someone really pissing you off.

I work in academia, in higher education. I oversee the faculty's use of alternative delivery methods of instruction. In other words, instruction that is not in the traditional classroom setting. This involves oodles of hand-holding and cajoling, to convince them that, yes indeedy, they can use a computer and the school won't collapse and the students will actually learn something.

It's been a long, hard summer, convincing many of them to put a toe in the waters of technology, and some have actually jumped off the diving board and into the deep end. I've grown the number of instructors using technology, and that's been a major accomplishment in a short time.

Then, our IT (Information Technology) department has to go screw it up. And why? Because of the Man Behind the Curtain Syndrome.

Remember that, from the Wizard of Oz? The old wiz operated the show from behind the curtain, but no one was to look behind the curtain. They were to take what the show had to offer and leave it at that. Ask no questions. You'll know what they want you to know, when they want you to know it.

So, the system that we use for course delivery started having problems. It ceased being compatible with anything. Turns out, IT hasn't installed not one, but TWO upgrades. Ones that should have been done well before I started here. A trainwreck was inevitable. These people are not stupid; they should have seen it coming. But nooooo, they stayed behind the curtain and ignored it until it bit them in the ass.

It bit me in the ass, too. No one had communicated this lurking problem to me. And who do professors come running to when something doesn't work? The person who convinced them it would be all right in the first place. The new kid. Blogget-girl. Dang.

So, when I announce that a new upgrade will be installed (I haven't mentioned there are two of them...panic would ensue.), they rejoice! Huzzah! All our troubles are over! Okay, okay, okay, so it has to be installed during the second week of will heal all wounds!

Or so IT promised. Which I, in turn, promised. Then, the upgrade failed. Damn square one.

The failure is not IT's fault, but they could have warned me that all the test installs also failed. It was all but doomed, but I had no clue. No one communicated. Do we see a pattern here?

Of course, I start asking when this will be fixed. "We're working with their tech support. They'll figure it out soon." In other words, don't address the man behind the curtain!

Meanwhile, the course in the system are crashing and burning. Students are mad ("Is this what I paid for?"). Professors are pulling their hair out ("Is this what I signed on for?").

I had another meeting with IT yesterday. You can almost see the curtain around them, as they present a united front to say, "We're working on it." That's not communicating anything, fellas!

Well, I'm NOT happy with that answer! And I said so! They are missing the urgency in this situation. This is a program we need to grow in order to be competitive! And they are killing it by putting this on the back burner. This is front burner stuff! We're losing students and faculty support. Where are we without those? This is my job here, people!

I'm soooo frustrated.

Maybe today will be a better day. Maybe something I said got through to them. Maybe they'll finally pull the curtain aside, if only for me. (Trying to be butter-side-up.)

No, I need to rip down a curtain. I need a vacation. Or a horny green-eyed guy....

Now playing: Three Days Grace - Riot
via FoxyTunes


~ellen~ said...

How infuriating! I hope today is a better day for you.

If not, I prescribe chocolate! ASAP!

Blogget Jones said...

Thank you, Ellen! And an excellent idea! So far, no one has entered my office today :o)

Oh! And I've been assigned to a new committee, abut the college's Web site! It's already met a couple of times, and has been nicknamed "BOB" (or the "Bitter Old Bitches"). Yowzers! Now, I have to figure out if I'm one of them ;o)

Lindystar the HOR blogger said...

How about all three?
I think that sounds nice.

GGGaahhhh that sux it sounds like they just ripped an already thread bare rug right out from under your feet.

Folks really don't like change -no even really smart ones - so I can only imagine what it's like for you tring to get all of your professors on the boat to Tech. land.

And is it just me or honestly do ALLLL IT guys put themselves on giant pedestals overlooking the retraded masses (us) that they seem to despise so much? Why the hell DO that job if we are all so stoopid? Just stay home, yag off and play World of Warcraft assholes.

EEEwwwKAAAyyyyy I'm sorry that was a bit of a tangent. My bad, but I hope your day is going better by now.


Blogget Jones said...

It better be a damn good weekend. Trying to not have too high of expectations, and give the poor man performance anxiety, but I need some TLC!

I LOVE the tangent! It's true. A lot of what I do is juggling the egos around me to get things done. Why can't it just be done? Without the requisite mating dance around everyone's little corner of the power-world?

Your boat analogy is good. I finally coax them into the boat, out on the water, and IT calls to let me know they have this hole they haven't fixed yet.... Dang.

The day is better, in that no one has called that I have to grrrr at. On the other hand, no calls = no answers. Grrrr.

Okay...weekend....weekend....weekend. I'm calling him tonight about plans. He better have a good answer!

Lindystar the HOR blogger said...

He will ;)