Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Day In The Life

So in my job as an elementary school librarian, I deal with two sets of people: students and teachers. Believe it or not, they both give me equal amounts of grief and laughs. Here is a sampling of what I dealt with today:

In our school, every classroom is fortunate enough to have a document camera and projector to use while teaching. It wasn't always so. It used to be that each grade level had one until last year when we got some newer ones, but of course, some teachers got left with the older ones. No one really complains about it. They're just grateful to have one. Well, except for one teacher. She was a sub at our school last year, and a new teacher this year and just so happened to end up with one of the old ones (which really isn't old, it's brand new...I took it straight out of the box). But since she was around last year, she knows about the new ones (which incidentally work exactly like the old ones...they do the EXACT same thing). So at the beginning of the year, I take everyone their Elmo (that's what the document cameras are called). Then a few days later, she comes to me and says,
"When am I gonna get an Elmo?"
"You have one. I put it in your classroom. It's on a cart..."
"Oh! That thing? I didn't even know what that was. I thought that since I'm new I get one of the new ones."
"Nope, sorry. The teacher that had that room last year had an old one, so you get an old one too."
"You mean I can't get an Elmo?"
"You have one. It does the exact same thing and works just as well. It just looks different."
And you can see how the rest of the conversation went: "I'm not gonna get a new one?" "No." etc...

Then a few months ago she claimed that she might need a new Elmo because the projector was overheating (it's brand spankin' new, I pulled the projector straight out of the box too). I went down to look at it and it worked just fine so I told her to call the HelpDesk and they could come fiddle with it.

Today she comes to tell me that some of the prongs are missing on a plug and all she really needs is a new Elmo (do you see the pattern here folks?). And then she goes on to tell me how she can't teach at all with that thing and how it is so confusing and frustrating and, "All I want is an Elmo!"
Once again..."You have an Elmo."
"Oh! Can you just come down and take a look at it for me? I can't even plug anything in...I just don't know what to do. There's cords everywhere..." blah blah blah.
So I'm thinking this cord problem is the cord that plugs into the Elmo and she tried to break it so she could get a new one. I tell her I have plenty of extra cords and I'll bring down a replacement.
I get down there and yep, there are cords everywhere! Everything is unplugged from the power strip, the power strip is unplugged from the cart, and the cord from the cart is unplugged from the wall.
I ask her what is wrong with the cord (as I'm looking at the one plugged into the Elmo) and she says, "Oh no, not that one. This one." And she shows me the cord from the cart...a three prong cord where the bottom prong has been broken off. Then she tells me how she wasn't sure if it would work if she plugged it into the wall and how she hasn't touched it for a week.

Seriously? How many times do I have to tell people! If something isn't working, check to make sure it's plugged in!!!!!! It's like twice a month I have to go down to someone's classroom and plug something in for them. Ugh!

So we plug everything back in (or really, I plug everything back in because all of those cords are really just too confusing for her) and guess what? It works just fine! But then she starts pushing all these buttons asking me "which one does this need to be on" and so on. I got it back to the right setting and told her to leave it there...we'll see if she does. I swear that woman is going to break everything on that cart, including the cart itself, just to get a document camera that looks like everyone else's.

How are people so technologically defunct that they can't figure out how to plug something into a power strip and then plug it in to the wall and therefore think it must be broken and they need a new one? I just don't get it....

9 comments:

Melissa said...

Awesome!! And these are the people molding and shaping young people's minds!! LOL!!! Great!!
I hate stupid people! Why does she keep complaining to you??? Its not like you can magically get her a new camera thingy just cuz you want to. Next time just smack her!! :)

WhiteEyebrows said...

Now that I've gotten back up off of the floor (from rolling around with laughter), I will just say... hahahhahahaa... welcome to the world of tech support.

I would seriously keep my eye on this one. She is purposefully trying to sabotage her elmo. If she does succeed, make it as painful for her as humanly possible to get a new one. Threaten that it will come out of her paycheck or something...

Allie said...

Holy crap batman, i would smack her. Why would she not just be grateful to have an Elmo at all... I mean really some schools only have one. It all depends on the funding... Not on looks! I have to admit I went onto the limeaids for learning website, and was kinda irritated by all the "wants" of the teachers... ipods for a reading center? Really? I mean I get phonics but guess what I didn't have any of that kinda crap and I learned how to read just fine.... I decided not to help anyone, cause I am that lame...

Em's end said...

Some people will try anything to get something 'new' ... and some people plain-old won't stop trying. Perhaps you need to set her Elmo up to NOT work and let her stew with it for a few months. Maybe then she'll appreciate it. Of course, you could also work on convincing her that HER Elmo will do things the new ones won't ... hmmmmm ...

caitenni said...

Is there a way you could take a picture of all the parts on that machine? Like plug....etc. everything she is complaining about......Then if it does become 'broken' you have evidence to prove it was fine before... That's just plain insane for someone wanting to sabotage something just to get what everyone else has...ugh. And Allie I had the same problem with limeaid!!! Everything I read it was just for technology stuff. I learned to read from a book...with pages....made of paper. Who would of thought?? I was reading before I even hit school!!!!

Rhia Jean said...

Ha ha you guys! If she breaks that thing I'll tell her I'll take care of it and then I'll take my own sweet time and then make sure I replace it with another old one. I know that's evil but whatever.
In defense of the iPods though, I have to say they can be very useful in centers. You can create and edit videos to give directions and a little mini lesson/reminder for independent activities for a group of kids to do while the teacher works with another smaller group. I know we all learned without technology but you wouldn't believe how high the standards are nowadays for students and teachers. It's very overwhelming for one person and we rely heavily on technology to lend a helping hand. Technology is here to stay...

caitenni said...

True Rhia....but 1 Ipod for an entire class? lol I guess one foot in front of another.

Alison said...

Yep, one iPod for an entire class . . . because some teachers are trying not to be greedy. Of course five iPods for a center would be awesome, but with people blowing off the need for one iPod that I teacher "wishes" (not "requires") for his/her class, it's better to shoot for the stars instead of the moon. Besides, teachers are not allowed to use classroom supplies for their own personal reasons . . . which includes the one iPod. You can get into big trouble for that.

The woman that keeps breaking the Elmo is ridiculous. You should just tell her, "I'm sorry you feel like you got the short end of the stick this year, but you're new (and therefore are not entitled to anything new and awesome right off the bat), this is what you have to work with, and if it breaks I do not have anything to replace it with. You're going to have to deal." Some people just think that there is a magical land where all tech gadgets fall out of space. Honestly!

I have tons of tech stuff to use in my classroom now, and believe me, I'm grateful. I started with an overhead and felt awesome when I got a projector. Now I have a Promethean board, four student laptops, AND a document camera. That's frickin' AMAZING! This chick just has no perspective, and you're the "lucky" person who gets to help her find it. yay. sigh. :)

Marisa said...

I'm always so proud of myself whenever I figure out a tech problem on my own (because under normal circumstances, I'm a tech idiot). However, I think I MAYBE could have figured out how to plug the thing in... Good luck with that one!