Work whinge

The print quota system is still fucked. On the outside it looks healthy and happy. Which pleases the management and higher echelons of Academia. But let’s just flake away this piece of dried paint….and let’s examine what is below. Shall we??

Ok. The print quota system (Monitor machines, PCounter account management and some weird and wacky bit of Novell Witchcraftery) should work like this

Student wants to print
Student goes to clearly marked print quota machine
Student enters user name and password at the correct prompts
Student pays with pounds sterling
Student returns to PC
Student prints document by selecting correct printer
Student collects printout from the printer in the room they are in otherwise they collect it from the nice shiny 1970’s architecture eyesore Computing Services building
Student leaves happy with birds singing, skipping through lush green meadows with Hans the wood cutter or Heidi the Au Pair
Student tells chums what a fab university Liverpool has
Everyone wants to come to Liverpool University
Money comes in
Staff get a pay rise
Stegzy buys a luxury yacht and disappears into the sunset.

However this is more like what happens:-

Stoodent wants to print
stoodent goes to helpdesk
Stoodent asks where print quota machine is
Stoodent picks self up from floor and looks at the white box with the giant words “PRINT CREDIT VENDING POINT” behind them
Stoodent tries to swipe ID card in the slot that the instructions say “THERE IS NO NEED TO SWIPE YOUR CARD”
Stoodent looks puzzled
Stoodent asks why card won’t read (being too fucking stupid to realise their ID card does not contain a magnetic strip)
Stoodent glared at in unfriendly manner
Stoodent goes back to machine
Stoodent enters Student ID number when asked for username
Stoodent enters password
Stoodent goes back to helpdesk
Stoodent gets a punch in the face
Stoodent goes back to machine
Stoodent enters username when asked for username
Stoodent enters password
Stoodent puts coins in
Coins get rejected
Stoodent puts more coins in
Machine gets clogged
Staff unclog machine
Stoodent repeats earlier steps but manages to insert correct coins into coin slot
Stoodent goes back to PC
Stoodent clicks file
Stoodent clicks print

Here one of four things can happen


Stoodent cannot find printer they want to print to
Stoodent selects any old printer
Printout disappears into the ether
Stoodent gets charged

2 –

Stoodent selects correct printer
Printqueue system throws a wobbly and decides stoodent would much rather have their output printed by a printer in a dark damp room in the basement of somewhere totally inaccessible to human kind


Stoodent selects correct printer
Printqueue system decides it doesn’t want to play today and impersonates a coffee maker


Stoodent selects correct printer
Printer prints out
Printqueue system decides that capitalism is wrong and doesn’t charge stoodent

Then the following happens

Stoodent comes back to helpdesk
Stoodent whinges
Stoodent gets cross after twenty millionth attempt at printing
Helpdesk shrug and recredit stoodent
Stoodent gets really pissed off as they have missed deadline.
Stoodent tells chums that Liverpool University is shite
Chums go to John Moores
Liverpool University loses money
People get sacked
Unions get pissed off
Everyone goes on strike
Other unions pile out in sympathy
Nothing gets grown or transported anywhere
People die of starvation
Famine ensues
War breaks out
People die
The world falls apart
Stegzy goes home in his battered old green Ford Fiesta

So when students come to me and they’re like:

“Why hasn’t this printed out?”

“I put £3 in and the systems swallowed it! why?”

“Don’t you know who my father is? I demand that you fix this print thing now! I must print out that joke about the virus!”

“I sent my thesis to print and somehow its come out in ancient Sumerian”

“Why has only one page come out?”

I’m like:-

“I’m really sorry. It is all my fault. I am worthless scum. Please don’t tell your daddy he might have me transferred to a Sewage control job in Wakefield. There really is nothing I can do! Honest! No one believes us that there is a problem!”

Thing is really that management cannot see the problem because it is presented to them buried under figures that hint that the system is a success. It isn’t. I assure you. Where as 60% of students so far have not had a problem (or not complained about having problems) 38% have. (2% go through uni without even attending and somehow get first class honours [back handers if you ask me]). Of that 38% only 5% are of the sort to be bolshy arguementative types that complain about everything anyway so noone really pays any attention to that. A further 5% of the remaining 32% complain because they genuinely have a greivance then disappear off the face of the planet (Current theory is that the Vice Chancellor calls them into his office and then feasts on their brains). Of that remaining 27%, 25% stop whinging when everything works again. (The remaining 2% become members of Staff, but that’s a different story)

But somehow it is our fault. Us. The front line people. I’ve had all sorts. Threats, angry glares that could have killed a tribe of Zulus, sarcastic cutting remarks that have required therapy and much worse. [One day I will go into the complaints thing I have at the moment about complaints]. Personally I would love to just go in to a room. Wave my magic badger and make the whole printing subsystem work like clockwork. Unfortunately I don’t have a magic badger (yes kids its a glove puppet) and the magic printer subsystem fairies have yet to miraculously appear. Instead I have to call the Novell team. They tut and huff tap on their keyboards then proclaim that they cannot see any problem and that the whole thing is in the students (and my) imagination. They then basically tut and huff again and tell me to stop interrupting their game of Dungeons & Dragons or worse still sigh that “Oh dear! You haven’t got a degree and Im more superior to you because I have got a degree” sigh.

I fucking hate that. I get it from the students, I get it from the senior staff. If I was a lesser man I would have gone postal a long time ago! But no. I ride it; I suffer it; I put up with fucking stupid systems that don’t work bought on the cheap from some cowboy Software solutions company based in a bedsit in Brentford or Lewisham. Sometimes I think even working in Barnsley would be better than working here….[joke]

Told you not to pick that scab didn’t I? 😉

Author: stegzy

Once, long ago, I wrote frequently on Livejournal. I then moved to Blogspot, where I discovered that blogging requires an audience. So I moved back to LJ. Then over to Dreamwidth, back to LJ, up the road of self hosting with Muckybadger before giving up entirely and moving over to Wordpress. It was at that moment I decided I would spread my compostual nonsense simultaneously across the blogosphere like some rancid margarine. And so here I am. I am a badger. But then I'm not really a badger. I am a human. With badger like tendencies. I am a writer, a film producer and a social commentator. I am available for Breakfast TV shows, documentaries and chats in the pub with journalists where I am more than qualified enough to talk confidently about absolute shite and bollocks.

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