Last year at this time, it was safe to say I was having a mini nervous breakdown. Work was insane, especially with hours cut due to the furloughs imposed upon us by the moronic fiscally-conservative Governator. At the beginning of each semester, it is my job to get all online and web-assisted courses up and running. Though we have since automated this process, I had been manually adding 1800+ courses to the system so faculty can add their content, in addition to enrolling students for those courses. 60+ hours of work had to be fit into 32-hour weeks, and I was absolutely NOT allowed to work overtime. Asking others for help just made more work for me because there were inevitable major screw-ups. This went on for over a month. It was not pretty. Oh, and it just so happened that this was going on at the same time we were moving into a new house. It took me months to recover from all the stress.
This semester is a cake-walk in comparison. I’m not twitching, hiding under my desk, talking to myself (much), or swearing every five minutes. What hasn’t changed, unfortunately, are the stupid repetitive questions of the faculty. I’ve answered the same questions countless times, asked each term by some of the same faculty. I’ve put up information on the web site in an attempt to eliminate limit the number of times I’m asked something. Alas, I am foiled by foes I underestimated – slowness and cluelessness
Here is a sampling of some of the conversations I’ve had over the last few weeks…
Faculty: I can’t find my fall classes in the course system.
Me: Did you activate them?
Faculty: Oh. Where do I do that again?
Faculty: I activated my classes and enrolled students, but my class says they can’t see anything.
Me: Did you add content to your course?
Faculty: Oh. How do that again?
Faculty: I just activated my classes but I don’t see them in my list. Is something wrong?
Me: How long ago did you activate them?
Faculty: About five minutes ago.
Me: [in my head – why does nobody read the instructions on the f%@&ing page!] It takes about two hours after activation for your courses to show up.
Faculty: Oh. Does it say that somewhere?
Me: Yes, right above the place where you activated your courses.
Faculty: [laughing nervously] I guess I missed that.
Faculty: I activated my classes and added content, but my students can’t see the course.
Me: Did you enroll them?
Faculty: Oh. You mean that isn’t done automatically?
Me: It is once you click the Enroll button.
Faculty: I’ve updated my content for the term and I’m ready for students. How do I get them into my class from last semester?
Me: You need to create a new course each term. That’s the only way to get students automatically enrolled. You can copy your content to the new course.
Faculty: How do I do that again?
Faculty: I’ve enrolled my students but I only see students with last names A-L. Where are the rest of the students?
Me: You have to click Page 2.
My conclusion: A PhD doesn’t guarantee common sense or the ability to read and follow instructions.