Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I need a vacation.

I'm having a crabby day. Actually a couple of crabby days, I guess. Or maybe I'm depressed, and covering it as crabby. It started yesterday afternoon when I refereed a discussion between two of the people who work for me.

There are deep divisions in my department. I thought I'd done some good stuff to close them, but found out yesterday that all the work I've done for the last 9 months is just frosting on the otherwise badly deformed cake... and very thin frosting at that.

My department used to be two departments. It's been one for a couple of years now, but there is still very much an "us vs. them" mentality. It pops up in the oddest ways. One person will say "Well, I would have done thus and so, if only THEY had told me." They being the guy who used to work for the other department. I explain AGAIN that THEY aren't responsible for this... that YOU are now responsible for this, and I expect YOU to do YOUR job. Then THEY say "Well, THAT PERSON did this without asking me." And I explain that THAT is THEIR JOB.

I dunno... maybe it *is* depression. Maybe I'm a much better technical person than I am a manager. It frustrates the hell out of me ... and makes me angry... that people can't see... or I'm not communicating... the "vision" of what this department should be... telepathy would be handy.

10 months and I'm tired and frustrated.

I had a philosophical discussion last night... short and intense. What is fate cruel? Fate is cruel because you aren't paying attention to gentler hints. hummmm

Thursday, July 07, 2005

This is *no* way to run a railroad.

I spent the morning trying to find someone in the building who know what a "Receptacle Charge Port" is, and where it would be located. I can tell you that 8 out of 9 Mechanical Engineering Professors do not know what it is. The Mechanical Engineering Chair does not know what it it. 6 IT professionals do not know what it is. A finance person, Department Co-ordinator and 3 Secretaries do not know what it is.

The 9th ME Professor knew what it is. He spent 15 minutes explaining to me what it is. I still do not know what it is, however, I now know WHERE it is, and that was the important part.

I received a list of Capital Equipment which is charged to one of the departments my group supports that is "missing" (including the above mentioned Receptacle Charge Ports). The major issue is that laptops aren't in the room where they are supposed to be!

My GOD! Imagine! PORTABLE COMPUTERS! COMPUTERS THAT TRAVEL with people! Oh, the humanity!

This is one of many issues that have sideswiped me since moving from the corporate world to academia. For some reason, Property Management at a corporation does not feel that computers must remain in the same room forever. It's patently obvious to Property management in academia. It's a *computer* it *must* be there. I don't know when the last time she looked under her desk , but I have news... computers are exceptionally mobile now. They don't need to stay in the same room forever.

Another issue which has flummozed me is the fact that there is no central license negotiation on this campus. Leads me to paraphrase an old jingle:

I've a MS Agreement,
You've an MS Agreement
He's an MS Agreement,
Wouldn't you like to have an MS Agreement (that's costing us the earth because they're all treated as individual agreements) too!

And individual departments are cooperating to get major license agreements in place... but if I am negotiating something, and "I don't like you, I won't tell you nor let you in on my agreement and I don't care if it wastes money, so there!"

Oy... and the PTB wonder about how to cut IT costs... they tried laying everyone off, but all that has done is provide crappy service and generate complaints. No-one has looked at issues like Site Licenses and Large Group Discounts as a way to save money... why, they might actually have to hire someone to coordinate it!

Time to go to the beach...