Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thou shalt not Doodle

We just got a staff email from the IT department last week, demanding that we not use Doodle for setting up our "business appointments" because it is "insecure". They offered a link to a system programmed by IT persons who have never actually tried to make or change a multi-person appointment in their lives.

I checked the calendar - it was not April Fool's Day. I'm not really sure that my appointments for meetings and exams falls under the category of secrecy necessary in order to maintain national security. I emailed my departmental colleagues, and the non-TT-person came up with a splendid answer. "Business? Hell, I'm a slave here. I'll doodle if I damn well want to." Good. We'll just carry on as usual, ignoring the IT department. They don't help us, anyway.


  1. Since it will inevitably be said, and I'm here:

    Die IT, die!

  2. Ignoring stupid requests by administrators (other than those of your bosses) is usually a good plan. I'm beginning to favor openly mocking them as well.

  3. The IT department in the tech school I used to teach at was useless. I knew more about what was going on with the system than it did.

    I shouldn't have been surprised at its ineptitude. It got rid of a perfectly good Unix system, replacing it with something that I found infuriating to use.

    It also bought a records management program that was a mess and never worked right during the time I was there. That program turned out to be a monster because it required increasingly more people to get the bugs out. That also meant that even more lecture rooms were converted into office space for them, limiting where we could teach our courses. Meanwhile, IT support for regular things such as e-mail was nearly non-existent because of that.

    My alma mater also bought that same program and it didn't work right at that place, either. TA paycheques were held up for about 2 months and several grad students were threatened with expulsion because they couldn't pay their tuitions from money they weren't receiving. In the department where I did my Ph. D., the graduation list that year was trashed by that program. The secretaries worked overtime getting that list ready, doing it by hand.

    Word of the difficulties reached the senior administration and one of the vice-presidents issued an apology for the debacle. However, rumour had it that the chap responsible for purchasing that program was sacked.

  4. @NoLonger, oh, we have lots of those as well. The guy who purchased the mess for doing the bookkeeping was sacked when it turned out he was getting kickbacks from the lame-ass company who sold it to us. Our records keeping system was supposed to be overhauled in 2013. Then it was 2014. I just heard a rumor that this has been pushed back to 2016.

    IT would love it if people stopped using their computers. They only cause trouble. I'm with Pat. Die, IT, die!

  5. I suppose one could come up with a paranoid interpretation of this: some Power That Is is planning to institute a time-tracking system in the near future, and wants to utilize a centralized calendar system to facilitate that.

    But good old stupidity/ineptitude strikes me as a better solution. I hope somebody hacks into the payroll system, or the transcript system or something that's actually important while they're busy playing Chicken Little about doodle (we use it too, in a number of contexts, none particularly sensitive; it works, simply and elegantly). Well, actually, I don't hope that, because it would cause trouble for others. But appointment-making is not the first place I'd focus my attention when looking to plug security holes.

  6. Our IT department had this irrational dislike of dropbox for ages, and then suddenly changed the policy from "DROPBOX WILL MURDER YOUR CHILDREN" to "YES USE IT ALL YOU LIKE" overnight. Who the hell knows what they are smoking over there.