The first week of school, and I’ve been flumoxed by small things. Someone forgets to plug in a cable, and half a school goes offline. Someone forgets to check a box on a piece of software, and our lunch system doesn’t get updated with our new students.
All of these small things have had a cumulative effect. In the case of the lunch software it gets to be a real problem. Money can’t be applied to accounts, free and reduced lunch accounts can’t be credited, PIN numbers and ID cards don’t work, and long lines of weary students start to form. With that particular piece of software there have been lots of small things.
First, there was the updated software. Subsequently, each of the point of sale machines had to be updated. Our software sales rep waited until the last minute to accomplish this task, and it went very slowly. I was with him until late a night before the first day of school, and there was no time to test the systems. I was not happy.
Then there were missed settings. The high school had its PIN numbers set to 9 digits instead of 12, so none of the ID cards worked. It was a simple solution, but it took time to find. Then there was the data transfer. The company had forgotten to also update this mechanism, so none of the student data had updated since the suftware update. Then the engineer forgot to check the box to enable overnight updates. I’m just hoping it works properly tonight, because I know our schools are getting frustrated.
Of course, when these things go wrong, I’m the one who gets the calls. I think that for just once I’d like to get a call telling me that things are going fine.