Category Archives: Information Technology

Vistek Part II

First off, I should say the tripod arrived the next day. I also got a call from “Paul” making sure it arrived, again thanking and apologizing to me. I also just received this email.

Hi Adam,  I’m the Project Manager at Vistek and I also head up Customer Relations.  I have been working here for over 15 years and most of my years here were as Ron’s Executive Assistant.  I have handled many transactions for Ron’s customers including Leo Baeck Day School.  I was informed about your experience at Vistek and as I’m still shocked about the entire incident, I’m writing to apologize to you.  I am truly sorry that you were not treated with the high standard of customer service that we expect from our sales and management team.  There are no excuses.  I know you originally called Ron to get started with your purchase and I’m sorry that he was out of the country at the time and I was away on vacation as well. There are few words I can offer in explanation however, I can ensure you that your experience has been addressed with all staff involved.   I understand that we sent you a tripod this week and I hope you are pleased with the product.  On behalf of Vistek, I wholeheartedly apologize to you and hope you will forgive us.

Well, that’s at least something. Don’t know if I’ll ever buy there again, but it’s better than ignoring the issue.

The Life of a Working Girl

I hate report cards. For those not in the know, I work in a school. I’m the IT Manager. I’m a professional geek, in other words.

We’re now onto the first full report. Today is the day that reports are due to be printed, for self-review (so they can be passed onto the administration for proofing on Monday). Obviously the entire faculty has been entering marks and writing comment this week, and this week alone. My phone has not stopped ringing, my email has not stopped chiming, the school uses Google Apps for its email service, and with a IM widget right in the sidebar (unlike FirstClass’ IM function, no one knew about), they all take advantage of that immediate connection. Shoot me.

I knew this was coming, I always know this is coming, but it’s a lot of work, a lot of stressful work. What I can never handle is the reason I hate teachers. Sorry Mom, nothing personal, and I don”t even really hate teachers, but it’s easy to say I do. What I hate is a sense of entitlement, and being talked down to. There seems to be a feeling amongst some staff that IT is their whipping boy (which might be fun, but not in a school). What bothers me is when I receive emails that state for a fact that I am going to do something over and beyond what is expected, because they can’t read, made assumptions and/or didn’t ask. I most likely will do it, but I’ll do it a lot quicker and nicer, if you’re polite about it. IT works in a different way than most departments of any business. Rather than “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” it should be “the squeaky wheel gets told ‘we’ll be with you shortly’ as they attend to someone who was polite.”

This is something that I think was very well illustrated by the school interim Director last year. His laptop died, it needed a part replaced, I can’t remember what it was, but the computer was under warranty, and so Toshiba wouldn’t let me just buy the part and install it. I went to a service centre I had never used before, I was told by the Director to tell him that my job was on the line and he needed it by the end of the day. He did make it clear my job wasn’t on the line. I said “sure,” while thinking to myself, “self-righteous Americans” (sorry Cari). Instead, I went into the shop, said very nicely, “This is kind of an important job to us, I was wondering if you could put this at the front of the queue, we need it in the next three hours.” He said, “I can’t promise anything, but I’ll try.” I thanked him, left, gave him a call two hours later, and he told me that it would be ready in fifteen minutes. I brought him coffee and thanked him. Being nice is better.

Generally, I love my job, I love the respect that I get there, the autonomy, the people, but when it comes to reports, manners seem to fly out the window.

In conclusion, love your IT staff, buy them treats.

Being There

What’s a good level between easy of use and security? I’m not sure.

I’ve installed reCAPTCHA on instance of WordPress, I don’t think it’ll stay, I just wanted to try it out and see if it works. It does. I installed it on Being There’s instance of WordPress and there it’ll live, but is it too annoying for the average user, thus stopping them from commenting?


The best captcha I have ever seen…
Screen shot 2009-11-28 at 11.05.40 AM

Ankle: The Font

Picture 3

OMG! I love this! You can make your own font here.

“I Am The Teacher” by The Germans

HistoryJen posted an article for a contest she’s running for free tickets to see Schomberg Fair and The Germans at The Garrison, here in Toronto. She concluded it with the following video by The Germans. I had to post it, too.

The Wave

Google Wave is kinda boring on your own. Who wants to befriend me? My account is google at mydomain dot calm.

I also have eight invites. Who wants one?

Google Go

Google’s announced a new programming language… Umm, wtf?