Tuesday, May 24, 2011

IT Rapture

The Monday after the world was supposed to end I was planning on a few solid hours of getting ready for open house. We have some sort of sports thing being opened and the Powers That Be have decreed that we have to present ourselves as being an academic institution, too, this weekend. Whatever.

It was to be a Photoshop & Copier day. As I walked into my office I was greeted by a secretary: "The Internet isn't working!". A quick glance at my Internet-based telephone showed me that it was in the process of looking for an IP number and would not be of much use for calling IT to ask what's up.

I opened up my laptop and found our usual WLAN names missing. Instead there was one I had never seen before called "JesuitSeminary". We don't have a school of theology.... I whipped out my mobile phone in order to bitch - and there was no connection. Luckily, one of my assistants had a phone with a different carrier, and we dialed IT.

The line was busy.

I started joking about the IT department probably having been taken in the Rapture over the weekend. I mean, come on, we don't have fundamentalists in the IT department, do we? It's a joke, people, get it?

Anyway, we had 3 Internet-based printers around, a color one, a slow one and a fast one that collates and staples and makes coffee. We started off trying to print the color flyers using a USB stick. The copier replied with an unintelligible error message that I interpreted as meaning "F-you".

We moved on to the B&W flyer on the slow copier. Slow as in it took 10 minutes for it to print 3 pages from the stick. Okay, we now have a version we can use on the fast copier. We sailed over, put the fancy new copier card on the special pad - and realized that this copier needs an Internet connection to decide if I still have copies left.

We returned to the color copier, misused it to make B&W copies that we collated by hand, and stapled them all by hand.

Every now and then the Internet would come back on, my telephone would suddenly come back to life, but the IT "hotline" was always busy. It took most of the day before I got through to them. Yes, they had been "fixing" the Internet over the weekend and it seemed they had overlooked something. But everything was fine now. We only had to reschedule a gazillion IT-based classes and online classes and find more time to get everything ready for this weekend. And my secretaries all have nice looking fingernails for some reason.

Am I being bad for kind of wishing that there had been an IT Rapture at our school? Then we could have hired some new people.

Dean Suzy


  1. I've been looking at various calendar/to-do solutions, since I'm going to have to finally give up on the Palm platform and make the move to a smartphone (probably Android) soon (either that or replace the screen on the Palm and carry on, which is actually looking more and more tempting). One thing that has struck me is how many of the things I've looked at are cloud/internet based. For precisely this reason, I'm not sure that's a good idea. I like the idea of applications that sync automatically via the internet very much, but I'm not so sure it's good to have so many activities and appliances entirely reliant on a working (and fast) internet connection.

    We haven't had an IT rapture, but we're down a couple of key (and pretty good) people due to resignations, which is not a good thing. But we seem to be relatively lucky in this area.

  2. Dean Suzy, I always enjoy your posts. ("And my secretaries all have nice looking fingernails for some reason.")

    If you have some special Dean-power to arrange an IT rapture, could you please include the Board of Trustees that decided our beloved, efficient, down-to-earth, comfortably plump Dean Winifred doesn't look presidential enough and hired an outside white male whose own college is glad to see him go?

  3. @Cassandra: The demise of PalmOS is troubling me as well, since my battery no longer holds a charge. I agree with your reservations about the Cloud, not least because using it with a handheld requires a hefty monthly charge, whereas the Palm was self-contained. I'm considering installing a new battery myself -- what the heck, there's no warranty anyway.

    This might be worth its own post, in case other CMers have successfully made the leap from Palm to . . . ?


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