8.29.2008

Dueling Tasklists

I have, at this moment, four local schools depending on me to maintain and upgrade their campus technology. What this means is that I have four competing tasklists each with high priority items.

And every day I go to a different site, reload for a whole new set of problems, teachers, students and support staff. And everyday I have to reset my expectations for what I might be able to accomplish.

My tasklists are dependent on more than just me to complete items and therein lies the rub. When I am at a site once a week, I need my support tech to actually respond and help me get things sorted out on-site. Otherwise things sit for another week and another week and another week. Which does nothing for my credibility at the site even though it isn't my fault I can't get my support tech out to the site to, you know, support me.

I know my support techs are even busier than I am and I try to cut them as much slack as possible. But I can count, on one hand, the number of times one has said they will be at my site at a certain and they have actually shown up. This is a problem.

Especially when I know they are compulsive email checkers and never let their cellphones get more than five feet away. I know they are getting the messages, they are just choosing to not respond immediately and keep doing whatever it is they are doing.

I don't necessarily blame them but it gets a little hard not to when you're asking for the same support assistance again and again and again.

I like working with the schools, I like what I do but I really dislike having to labor in a dysfunctional bureaucracy that attempts to squeeze too much out of everyone in it and leaves too many too drained to actually do their jobs.
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