Tech Department Hopes to Raise Student Inconvenience by 28% this Semester
SUBTERRANEAN SERVER LABYRINTH – Looking excitedly from cubicle to cubicle, Academic Technology Services (ATS) Director for Michigan State University Allan “Crazy Al” Hobkins was in high spirits as he walked past his colleagues early Monday morning.
“We’ve really accomplished something here – really provided a service that can’t be counted on,” said the old computer network veteran, tearing up as he walked past a training cubicle where employees were being instructed on how to most effectively misinterpret an email error report.
It was only a single example of what has become an inspirational story for Technical Departments around the country. Earlier this semester, MSU’s technical assistance staff reported feeling “satisfied” with their jobs, believing that they “had provided a reliable and beneficial experience for the end-user.”
Crazy Al was shocked.
“I had never witnessed anything like it. People seemed to enjoy their work – to actually understand peoples’ problems and convey coherent solutions. It was pervasive. We needed to do a complete deconstruction of our work ethic and customer relations skills. Some thought it was too much to take on, and, with any other team, they would have been right.”
The balding, rather meek man went to task on instituting stricter regulations and quality control.
“It was actually pretty easy to turn our horribly efficient department policies into a infuriating drain on student’s patience,” commented Greg Brekford, an ATS Senior Systems Analysts, “It just took Crazy Al to push us. It was his idea to create an unresponsive ‘help’ email address here, release a few thousand viruses there. The whole system really started to devolve into a proper state of chaotic mismanagement.”
Restless in his new found incompetence, Mr. Hobkins has not stopped to look back and reflect on his shortcomings; instead, he looks to the future, hoping to increase student inconvenience by 28% this semester alone.
“We’ve got a lot of things in the works right now. We’re all very excited for what could be the most frustrating year at MSU to date,” exclaimed Crazy Al.
Some of the new techniques include software that can understand when it is just the right time to inadvertently shut down a student or faculty member’s computer, causing maximum data loss. ATS also hopes to coordinate with professors in order to shutdown the computer network campus-wide for five days ahead of all final exams.
“We’re all very proud of what we’ve done here. I’m glad to say I can now report a 40% failure rate on boot-up alone,” said Crazy Al as he wiped his misted glasses on an old flannel shirt.
While the prestigious ATS Director may have big ambitions for the future, he can still be found doing more humble tasks, such cutting power to a computer lab or ignoring a professor’s request to fix a broken data projector.
“It’s really the basics that count.”