A Thankless Job

The second law of thermodynamics states that everything tends toward disorder and chaos.

One of the most thankless jobs at a school is that of maintenance. It is the job of the maintenance department to attempt to hold back the ocean with a broom – to fight entropy. Do your job right and nobody notices, but when something breaks or goes wrong who gets all the complaints?

Another thankless job is that of the IT department. When everything is working, nobody notices. When something goes wrong who gets the angry phone call? So many of us see the IT department as the villain, placing network security over personal teacher and student productivity. We see these people as cranky, impatient, and condescending whenever we stop them in the hall with a “quick question”. I know I’m guilty of more than a few complaints about IT. I’ve vented numerous frustrations about them on Facebook and Twitter, but would I ever want their job? Never.

Imagine what your day would be like if every encounter you had with your co-workers was another complaint and one more thing to add to your never ending “to-do” list.  Have you ever tried to talk to someone over the phone and walk them through the steps to fix something on their computer? Seriously, I’d rather rub a cheese grater on my face than have to spend all day doing telephone technical support. I’ve often stated that if something ever goes horribly wrong and instead of Heaven I go down to the other place, my eternal torment would no doubt be an endless line of people who “can’t print”.

Maybe you don’t like your school IT people. Perhaps you’re positive they hate you and try to avoid you at every opportunity. What are you gonna do?  If I may, let me suggest you follow Otis Redding’s advice and “Try a Little Tenderness”.  Say “Thank You”. Bring them a cookie. Let them know you appreciate what they do. Your’s could be the only kind words they hear all week. Who knows, the next time you submit a trouble ticket your kindness will be remembered and you may get moved to the front of the line.


One thought on “A Thankless Job”

  1. Amen…I’m guilty as charged as well! I often forget to praise publicly and criticize privately. Thanks for the reminder to encourage them more!

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