some days...

Lake District by train, originally uploaded by pilgrimgirl.

As I'm transitioning into the life of a university administrator (wow, that still feels so odd to say), I'm learning that there are some days that are just plain difficult.

Over the weekend we had a major and necessary change in our university's courseware system. We'd run two thorough and successful tests of this change over the past two months and yet, today, we learned that some significant things had gone awry anyways. It fell on my shoulders to smooth the frustrations of staff, faculty and students, even as I was troubleshooting the system and searching for solutions. I tend to take these things personally. When people are frustrated with the software, I feel as though they are frustrated with me, or I feel as though my incompetence is revealed by the problem.

So today was hard. I spent a lot of time sighing deeply at my computer screen, wishing that I had a magic wand to make it all better.

And then I came home to my two eager (but ever so slightly teen-whiny) kids. And I was able to entice TobyJoy to eat a few small meals and take her pills (an ongoing battle in the Toby-saga). And we had a long and silly vidchat with John. And we had some tasty pizza slices from our old friend Ray. And we stopped by Trader Joe's and saw our neighbor-manager Carolyn and picked up a few grocery staples to get us through this week.

When I checked my work email just now, I learned that the fix the IT team ran on the servers seems to have worked. My fingers are crossed that it is truly so, and that tomorrow will be an easier day for all of our users. In the meantime, I'm trying to relax a bit and pull things into perspective again.


Doug Dechow said...

There are two rules for surviving an IT career:

Rule #1: Never take it personally when it's possible that the software is at fault.

Rule #2: The software is always at fault.

John White said...

I'm in the final stages of this myself. We're doing our test next week and, presuming that all things go well, going live going into August.