Truly random Wednesday

It’s been an unusual day.  For a while my colleague and I have been cross-covering the other chunk of the UHI that’s here on Shetland.  Today that arrangement comes to an end and next week we’re back to “normal”.  Or at least what passes for normal up here on the rock, anyway.

So today I’ve had to…

  • Work out where my second monitor has gone.  I’m sure anyone who writes code appreciates the second screen – live project on one side, code on the other. Or the documentation over there while you’re writing over here.  It’s like going back to 2002 today.  Just the 1 screen!  At least in 2002 I could jack up the resolution and move things around, these modern LCDs don’t let you do that.
  • Replace no printer cartridges.  Yes, not replacing a printer cartridge is a diary event.  I swear they’re either selling them on eBay or snorting the toner.  Education’s an interesting game, it seems that to win you must be the one presenting the students with the biggest pile of paper.  Even the IT courses have massive stacks of printouts – why not just give the students access to the PDFs?  Then if they want to print it out, they can, and if they want to work entirely paperless, they can do that as well.
  • Answer several queries that could’ve been solved with 30 seconds’ work on Google or asking one of their colleagues.  I love the way the IT department is expected to know the ins and outs of every single piece of software.  How do I do a pivot table in Excel? is the favourite at the moment.  Why they’re flavour of the month, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I’ve never needed one and that you start on the Microsoft Office site looking for instructions.  Or you ask the lecturer who teaches people how to use Office apps every day of the week!
  • Drink coffee.  And that reminds me.  Must take my mug with me when I bail out to collect the kids.
  • Fix someone’s monitor.  By plugging it back in where they’d kicked the power strip under their desk.

It’s an interesting experience, covering a different institution for a while.  There’s an awful lot that’s “same shite, different building” but then there’s some problems I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to solve if I hadn’t been here, and that’s always good.  And I hadn’t really thought I was making much progress, advancing the cause of IT where I normally work.  I now see just how far I’ve come.

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