426: Never Give a Sucker a Break


Why is it so difficult to accomplish something in a single day?

I am the Educational Technology Coordinator at my little school. As part of my job, I subscribe to educational software on Websites for our teachers to use as resources in their teaching with their students. This is all online, should be a piece of cake, right? Yeah, right.

When *you* buy a subscription to something online, maybe. When *I* do it on behalf of the school I work for, OH, HECK NO.

First, this school is incredibly unorganized. That means all the subscriptions they have bought over the six years they have been a school were bought willy-nilly, whenever somebody needed it, and paid for any old which way. That means we have multiple accounts with the same vendor, and all administered by various people, with various logins and passwords. SO, my first job is getting all of these varied accounts combined under one site administrator for our school – me. That process, usually involving several e-mails to customer support, takes more than a week, before I get past all the automated, unhelpful, generic replies and actually obtain a human who can do something useful towards that end. Remind you of the last time you were on the phone with Customer NO-service at the Cable TV company? That is about the correct scenario. The customer service reps at most companies are either vastly overpaid, or so severely underpaid that the result is the same – Customer NO-service. *sigh*

Once I manage to consolidate all the various accounts under one account site administrator, then we are ready to buy the new stuff, OR to renew the old stuff we already bought – and then comes the payment hassles. Even though I am the mid-level manager here, I am not actually allowed to touch the sacred company credit card to make these duly purchase-ordered subscriptions. Who knows? I might charge round-trip airfare to Rio de Janiero for myself and a close friend over our upcoming five day weekend, you just don’t know. Apparently.

That means I must figure out how to track down my immediate supervisor – who is flat out open and honest about not bothering to answer her phone – EVER….to corner her in one place long enough for her to input the aforementioned sacred credit card numbers into the online form to actually purchase these resources.

And this is the end stage of the whole shebang – let’s not even mention the two weeks it took me to nail down which one of the six different subscription packages the teacher actually wanted to buy – and the wrangling over which particular budget pot of funds the payment for this subscription was going to be deducted from – all of which took place in the weeks before I finally got down to the actual purchase of the subscription online.

But, praise God, I THINK today will be the day I get to press the “purchase” button online…I may have to go out after work and have a celebratory drink…..or three……..



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