It’s been my experience this past year or two that nearly every change or update the IT department makes to our systems or networks make MY job more annoying or difficult. I’m all about efficiency in the workplace, doing my best to maintain my duties efficiently, often incorporating clever ideas and intuitive use of tools to accomplish those duties more quickly and easily.
IT, however, is continually undermining my efforts. Perhaps they do not do it on purpose, but they do it nonetheless, and there is really nothing I can do about it except try to find other ways to do things.
Anyway, what brought this up isn’t so much an undermining of something I’m trying to do. I mean, I guess it is, but not in the purest sense. See, I get to work this morning, and I already have to scramble to prepare the 30 computers for student testing before my first class arrives. I have to turn them on. Then I have to log them all onto a particular account for the test. Once they are logged on I then have to enter another name/password for the actual testing program. Then I need to use drop-down menus and buttons to select the appropriate test. I have to do this for the 30 computers, and it can be time consuming.
For years, I have been using a script I wrote that automated most of this process. Once the computers were logged in (which I had set up to not need a name/password), all I had to do was run some batch files on MY teacher computer at my desk and that would remotely trigger all of the other computers to automatically start the test program, log in, and select the appropriate test. It was super easy. Well, recently IT has changed something in the security so I can no longer connect to the computers to do that.
So anyway, I was doing it manually this morning, and all the computers just started shutting off on their own. “WHAT THE HECK?!” I thought. Well, normally this would be a shock, but unfortunately it was no surprise to me. Without even calling IT I know what’s going on. They’ve done this before. They have something on the network that causes all of the computers to shut down over night. It’s designed to save energy. Okay, I’ll accept that. The problem is, there was something wrong with it and when the computers were started up again, they would shut off a second time. This had started to become a nuisance but they disabled the whole thing and it went out of mind. Looks like they started doing it again.
IT isn’t the only group of morons that go around half-assing everything in the school district, but they are who I deal with the most, since I am a computer aide. Therefore, I see it the most.
Here’s a side dish for ya…
The IT department consists of a Director, two Technicians, and a Secretary. The math is easy. That’s four people. This is an IT department that is responsible for handling the entire technological infrastructure for the entire Banning school district. There are at least 7 or 8 school sites that I know of, plus the district office. I think maybe 1500-2000 computers (last I heard), several network hubs at each site, servers, and the list goes on.
The secretary can’t really do too much tech-wise, so let’s just cross her off the list now. That leaves 3 capable personnel. Well, for some reason, one of the technicians and the director can’t seem to go anywhere without each other. Any time I ever seen one of them, the other is right there as well. They are ALWAYS together. It’s like they have to make a team effort just to drive to a school site and flip a switch. That being said, they’re about as efficient as just one technician. So essentially we’re now down to only TWO technicians for the entire district.
Wait, there’s more. The other technician that doesn’t require anybody to hold his hand and visits school sites by himself to complete work orders… well, he’s getting laid off. Funny how that works. You you still with me on this math, now? A couple thousand computers, countless hubs and switches, network servers, blah blah blah… one technician.