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How many IT support personal does it take to change a projector light bulb?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ARTYMANDY, Nov 17, 2018.


    ARTYMANDY New commenter

    How many IT support personal does it take to change a projector light bulb?
    Firstly it takes at least a week to find the best price, cos it's way too intelligent to have one ready in school
    Secondly.-well we've not got there yet, and how dare I not understand the process, according to the patronising look I get whenever I have the audacity to bring it up with anyone

    And what have I had to do???
    ...email 4 different people to try and move things on faster
    ...moan to 3 different people (including the head) to try and move things on faster
    ...turn the whole class round to use the white in boards at the back of the room (which I can only use 1/3 of as there are filing cabinets in the way)
    ...'laugh' about being too short to reach more of the board
    ... use silly thin pens, that many students can't see, as there are no proper pens (unless I go out and buy my own)
    ...suffer extra hot flushes as the boards is placed above a radiator
    ...experience poor behaviour as the classes are unsettled
    ...replan all lessons as I can't use my existing power points
    ...use extra paper/photocopying/glue as I can't project a starter (now called a t.o.e. task ***)
    ...hand out starter tasks, at the door, to try and save time
    ...explained to all students at least twice why the room is the wrong way round
    ...take a register from behind all students, cos the computer (not a laptop) cannot be moved
    ...cry, at least twice in two days, cos I am so stressed (but I do get those long holidays...)

    Roll on Monday
  2. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    You think it’ll be sorted out by Monday? Lucky you... Last year, for various reasons, I spent six weeks without an interactive whiteboard. At one point I waited three weeks for a new projector bulb. During that time, no one seemed remotely concerned that my main teaching tool was unavailable. It turned out some other staff hadn’t been able to write on their boards for over a term, and were pinning up pieces of paper around their room, or typing at the computer during lessons. No wonder the tech guys thought I was over-reacting when I moaned about waiting three weeks.

    I raised it at my Performance Management meeting - after all, if you have to cope without presenting visual information to the whole class (our photocopying is restricted) for one-sixth of the year, you might wonder if pupil progress is affected. It wasn’t really taken seriously. There is little or no interest in investing in technology, or repair or replacement, unless it’s ‘visible’ to the wider community (i.e. we can brag about it). Who cares about working boards in classrooms? Let’s do green-screening and video conferencing.

    ARTYMANDY New commenter

    End of term was mentioned as a time frame...I am optimistically taking that as a joke!!!!!
    sparkleghirl and agathamorse like this.
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You're doing it wrong.
    This is what I would do. It comes from my "Biscuit led efficiency" book, several installments of which I have already shared on here in other school contexts..
    Offer your IT person a biscuit. Tell them how hard it must be to have to do so many small jobs across such a broad area with so many disgruntled people with so little money to spend.
    Do the same the next day.
    Seek them out repeatedly and convey precisely this message. Never mention the bulb.
    After a week or two of this, they will mysteriously saunter into your room one breaktime and survey the situation in there. They will see the biscuits on your table and when you see them looking, they will pointedly look away at an interesting display in your room.
    Pick up the biscuits, rustle the packet and....that is when you mention the bulb.

    Looking forward-keep up this flattery and biscuits, because IT support staff are hideously underpaid and outrageously low on working budget, yet somehow the onus is on them for "The whole of the IT system in the school functioning". Do you realise the extent of this remit?
    From your detailed account of your own inconvenience, I don't think you do.
    Don't get me wrong, I feel your pain.
    But I also think there are ways of getting a job done by somebody else which have not yet occurred to you. The psychology of getting others to believe they must help you out before they help anybody else is a really useful one, and is completely pertinant here. Management by biscuit.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  5. slstrong123

    slstrong123 New commenter

    Is there a duty for your employer to provide adequate equipment for you to carry out your job? I worked at a school with no text books, a broken interactive whiteboard (so only a small whiteboard to write on) and the photocopier was often broken for days at a time. Exercise books weren't ordered in time to arrive by the start of September. Trying to teach with only thin air for 9 weeks...It was horrendous.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Which term?
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I know your pain, @ARTYMANDY! In my last school, a broken IWB projector board was 'the end of the world'. The management had out-sourced technical support for such things, so any maintenance had to wait for a repairer from the company to come and fix it. This could take weeks, a wait which was lengthened by the SMT, who balked at paying the call-out charge. We were sent emails, telling us that if such consumables broke, no money was available to replace them until such-and-such a date. You could even find yourself caught up in an 'investigation' as to why your bulb (or whatever piece of equipment) had failed, and not anyone else's, trying to pin the blame on you.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. ronnieg

    ronnieg New commenter

    Interesting watching how people go into meltdown when tech goes down for those of us teaching for long enough to remember not having it. Don't get me wrong I love IT in classrooms but does make you wonder what we did before it
  9. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    If the tech goes down, we no longer have what we had before, like textbooks, on which to fall back. In science, the IWB replaces a lot of the experiments we no longer have the equipment or the materials to do. Students' expectations are much higher now, as are those of the managers who sit in judgment on our performance in the classroom.
  10. ronnieg

    ronnieg New commenter

    Not being critical - I'm a firm believer in technology. Our reliance does leave us a little vulnerable at times.
  11. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    I had a similar situation and started quoting health and safety in all my emails.

    I don't know if that might work for you?
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Possibly, but there is a minimum below which it is difficult to teach; no white- or backboard, no textbooks, or the means to provide work sheets.. In addition, you can find yourself failing your PM, as you are not using IT in your lessons; that it does not work being thought insufficient reason. .
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Solution number 2-no biscuits required.
    OP-I bet for every lesson you do under the strictured difficulties you describe, there is a room free in the school somewhere with all the functioning wotnots you require.
    Get to the person who books rooms, and ask them (to their face) to please book you one such room for every lesson you teach.
    Then when your kids arrive at your normal room, you get them to carry the stuff across to the other room. You procede loudly and without any adherence whatsoever to crocodile formation. Make sure you leave that other room a complete mess and return to your own room at the end of every lesson, and within a week you'll have had so many people complain about you that somebody will sit up and notice. If attempting this practical method of changing a projector bulb, otherwise known as the "for gawd's sake, somebody give her what she wants" method, it is crucial that you involve at least 82% of the entire school community, who simultaneously note that all your kids in your classes have a tendency to smile broadly when they are due one of your lessons.
    Or something like that...
  14. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Something of what you describe happens anyway, @sbkrobson, as the teacher with the broken projector bulb is constantly pestering their colleagues to swap rooms with them.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    As long-term supply I've always prided myself on very quickly identifying and buttering-up all the important people (IT support, cover organiser, key issuer,.....etc) but @sbkrobson you have reminded me of what a slacker I am. You've shown 'getting things done' to a much better standard than me. Chapeau
    sbkrobson likes this.
  16. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    I used to do something like the biscuit method but it was a little less devious and not as premeditated. If IT or HR or finance or the science techs did something for me I would buy them a cake, cut it up and take it to them all, sit and have a chat and look interested in what they do. I noticed that after the first few times that everything i needed seemed to speedily get done. A little appreciation goes a long way. (shame SLT never worked that out)
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Most schools carry a very limited supply (none) of spare projector bulbs because they are very expensive. I really look after mine as much as possible.

    However on the one occasion I needed one I got a replacement within a few days. My colleague next door (who I don't like very much) had one that glowed pink but kept working so they wouldn't get a new one for a few weeks.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. aypi

    aypi Established commenter

    Next time do no log it. Just swap with the one from the staff conference room. Win. Win. (wear gloves)
  19. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Which works fine unless you're in the same school as aypi, in which case you find the bulb has already been pinched.
  20. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 Occasional commenter

    put the ICT Technician on a Support Plan! ;)
    ARTYMANDY likes this.

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