I love my job, and I honestly look forward to work each day. I do have one minor rant about it, however. My technology systems are so integrated into virtually everything the district does that my team is involved with almost everything in the district. Even worse, we’re thought to be involved in things for which we have no logical (or actual) responsiblity.

It’s become a sad fact that people who have dropped the ball on a project will sometimes try to blame the technology involved. I then have to go on an “obstacle clarification operation” to point out the true flaws in someone’s project. They kick and scream all the way, because it usually exposes their own balldropping. I also have to do this in such a way that they can save face and get back on the job to get the thing done right (like they should have done in the first place instead of blaming technology). What a weary waste of my time!

Technology seems to be the mystical force of this age. People blame it for things like they used to blame the rain and thunder gods for storms. It’s become the automatic scapegoat and whipping dog for poorly managed projects everywhere. Can’t people just own up to their own actions? Hey, I make lots of mistakes, all the time–just ask my wife. But my secret weapon seems to be saying I’m sorry, fixing it, and moving on. I kid you not–people are at a loss for words when I take responsibility for something and apologize. It really deflates them and takes all the argument out of them. Moving on from there and fixing things is easy then. Why don’t more people try it? It’s a big timesaver, believe me.

The other problem in my organization is the drive to define everything as technology. I get you a computer. Then I’m supposed to get you a power surge protector? OK, I can see a justification for that. What? You want a table for the computer? That’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it? What? No we don’t buy you a chair to go with that. No, I wouldn’t define that as technology. No, I don’t buy you paper for the printer. Paper is a warehouse item that they’ve stocked for forty years–you can get it from them. No, it’s not considered technology. Really.

Why is my department responsible for almost every initiative in the district, no matter how mundane or unrelated to technology? It’s actually true that someone once thought we were accountable for the copy paper the district supplies for printers. We have nothing to do with consumables.

We would probably be held responsible for toilet paper if someone could tie it to technology.