Friday, January 11, 2013

The only thing worse than IT are the Luddite assholes that I have to work with

I suppose it's some comfort knowing that my IT department is staffed by people who are incompetent with new technology, not those who philosophically oppose it.  My department colleagues belong to the later group, thus I am IT for these blockheads.

Dear Early Exiting Edith,

Yes, I can contact your students about the time change to your class.  You’re right that it’s the most convenient thing to do since you can’t figure out the class email system (so many mouse clicks!) and you’re leaving right now at 3:30 in the afternoon.  Thank you for the offer of baking me a treat in return for doing you this favor but no, that’s really not necessary.  I would much rather that you do you God damn job next time.  If that request requires too much long term planning, then another suitable option would be for you to go fuck yourself right now.

Warmest regards,



  1. What in the world? I'm sorry, but figuring out how to email the whole class (and figuring it out again, and again, when they change the system) is a basic tech requirement of 21st-century teaching, akin to knowing how to work a typewriter or copier in the late 20thC.

    If they've changed the system recently, I have *some* sympathy. And if IT is incompetent, asking you (nicely, apologetically, once) to walk here through the steps might be acceptable. Expecting you to do it for her? Not acceptable at all.

    Just say no, Ben. Just say no.

  2. Let's see, physical scientists who are Luddites. Something is radically wrong here.

  3. Cassandra, in this particular case it would have affected me also because her students would have shown up in my class, resulting in 100 students finding 50 seats.

    Frod, I don't know how it is possible either. They are pretty good chemists too, but they refuse to learn these skills.

    1. Remember how C.P. Snow wrote about the two cultures? Well now there is this "third culture" of boffins, wonks, and techies to get the two to communicate to each other and themselves. Trick is, the apparatchiki of this middle estate are kludge artists, so it's like that Churchill (was it Churchill?) quote about all the lines being down and the leaders of thought using semaphore. Arthur C. Clarke used to say that technology was magic, if it was advanced enough; but what if the wizards (or their apprentices) are stumblebum incompetents?

      Manual over-ride, I say.