I love your suggestions.  It appears that my principals don't think I spend enough time in my respective buildings even though I've worked several 10+ hour days as well as some weekend days this year to stay on top of things (I get paid for 8 and by the hour -- no salary and no paid vacation time but they have been good about comp time).  However, if they aren't here, they don't know when I'm here, do they?

I think many of us in education tend to work above and beyond.  And, the more we do, the more we are expected to do. 


Joanne Finnegan, Technology Coordinator
Richmond and Jericho Elementary Schools
(802) 434-2461 
(802) 899-2272 

>>> [log in to unmask] 11/11/2005 11:27:13 am >>>
Thanks, John - what an appropriate metaphor!

Ditto to Tommy: Many of us "live and breathe" this discussion. I have just
come from a meeting with Ed. Leaders in preparation for a Board meeting to
propose increased staffing AND a bit more money to replace our 9-year old
equipment... I am currently optimistic but I'm sure reality will hit soon

Somehow we'll do it anyway, won't we? I guess the real crisis happens when
the work doesn't get done: the danger is in stretching ourselves to the
limit in order to get everything done and having THEM say "Why do you need
help - it's all getting done isn't it?" I guess in order to get additional
support we need to leave things broken for while? Put off cleaning the
principal's spyware-ridden laptop? Neglect to replace the office printer
until it's too late? Let the internet connection stay down for half a day:
THAT would fix 'em!

Happy Friday,


> I just read vince's  last paragraph regarding single users vs
> multiple users on a given machine....
> I often try to describe my tech support challenges with the metaphor
> of managing a fleet of delivery vehicles.........
> with many different teenage drivers taking out different vehicles
> each time they drive, some leaving the lights on, some locking the
> keys inside, few checking the oil, and all with very different
> driving styles...riding the clutches, burning rubber, gunning the
> engine etc etc....
> service and tune ups and ongoing driver ed are just part of my job
> Most fleets buy a quantity of a specific model ( bread truck, police
> car, delivery vans etc) which mean that the motor pool can easily
> swap out parts, canibalize entire vehicles,  and recognize/isolate
> similar problems to make and model... new brakes 28kmiles.... new
> engine 193k miles..... decommission 201kmiles
> I on the other hand ( given my small budget ( small school) I buy a
> few new computers each year to add to the mish mash mix... and
> consequently have multiple makes and models, all with different
> dashboards ... rearranged furniture, and idiosyncratic
> behaviors....P3, celeron, G3, G4, G5, Printers, copiers, cameras,
> scanners, switches hubs etc and many different engines Windows 9x 2k
> ME xp OS9x 10x jaguar, panther, tiger.......... now ipods,
> Plus my 300 plus drivers have all manner of driving experience and
> confidence..... I still get new customers pointing a mouse upside
> down and asking "what is double click?" ( I actually told one user
> to "go file ... open new document" and they said " file... open...
> new document" and waited for something to happen....
> not that I see buying a whole new fleet of like computers every 3-5
> years as a likely solution.......
> There is a calculus somewhere in here but I don't have the time to
> try to figure it out...... except to say that here at my understaffed
> motorpool (i mechanic) there will always be a percentage of rigs in
> for repair, rigs doa, and service calls to users to tell them that
> "the battery cable was loose", "you have to depress the clutch before
> turning the ignition" and "yes it is important to check the oil" and
> "no gas.... no go"
> I don't have time to go back and reread but often think of the book
> "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" which I first read prior
> to touching my first pc... but described different user/operator
> styles with a different technology...... I am sure there are very
> appropriate passages to capture the joys and frustrations of our
> multi hat responsibilities.....
> On Nov 10, 2005, at 4:47 PM, Vince Rossano wrote:
> I guess I can add my belated $.02 here as well:
> In Montpelier, there are three of us officially doing computer tech
> support.  That includes me, though I also have administrative duties and
> responsibility for the phone system as well.  Still, I probably put in
> at least full-time hours just on computer support and my assistants
> probably put in more than full-time hours.  On the other hand, our three
> tech educators get sucked into providing some technical support too, so
> it's difficult to figure exactly how many person-hours are spent
> supporting our users' computer needs. But let's say this:
> We have ca. 1150 students and another ca. 250 staff members who use a
> computer for at least checking their email, so, if we call it 1450 users
> total, and call it three support people, that makes, rounding off to the
> 25th decimal place: 466.666666666666666666666666 users to each techie.
> We can really call it 467 because the .6666666666666666666666666 user is
> a real pain and he takes more than his share of support.
> Seriously though, I at first thought this statistic relatively
> meaningless in comparison to the usual hardware-to-support-person ratio,
> but then I realized that if you've got one computer with only one person
> using it, it's probably going to take significantly less support than if
> you've got three people using that one computer.  Of course, as we all
> know, there are so many variables......
> Vince

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