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Newest Member: Unsureofhope

Off Topic :
working in IT for a public school system

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 toonces (original poster member #25949) posted at 10:25 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Hello everyone,

Looking for the collective wisdom of this group for comments or suggestions.

Like the title, I work in IT for a public school system. Most of my career has been in private industry and I have 30+ years of experience.

In July 2021, the IT director left. The school system (i.e. superintendent) decided to outsource the IT director role. The big mistake is that he brought in this company that is 40 miles from us. The oldest person there is about 26-27 years old. It was the opinion of the school's IT team that they are too small, too young, not enough experience, etc. We informed the superintendent of our concerns but we were ignored.

There is a new elementary school being built and we know nothing of the computing infrastructure. Our suggestions are ignored, denied, or they do the opposite.

Fast forward to present day. Three of the tech team has left and one has retired. That leaves me as the only remaining person. I have told management that I am retiring in 6 months (or earlier).

The city's HR dept is aware of the issues but hasn't done a thing. My wife is fine if I quit tomorrow.

About a month ago I had a meeting with the superintendent. He had to end the meeting after a 1/2 hour and I still wasn't done bringing up all the issues we have with the outsourcing company. Nothing has been addressed.

Some days I look forward to going to work just to see how bad things can get. I can afford to retire when I want to. The analogy I use is it's like going to a demolition derby, no one attends to watch the racing.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to the replies.

Me - BS
Her - WS
affair length - 6 months with OM
married since 7/92
d-day 4/2002

posts: 280   ·   registered: Oct. 23rd, 2009   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8754144
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 11:01 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Don’t you love it when the top brass knows better than the experts? The problem is shit rolls down hill and when the problems are exposed, someone else will lose their job over it.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 2031   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8754149
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 1:45 AM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

How long into his contract is the superintendent? Outsourcing the it director role is a bold move. That is the last position to outsource.

[This message edited by grubs at 1:50 AM, Wednesday, September 7th]

posts: 1373   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8754159
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:29 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

I used to work for Andersen Consulting, a firm that often recommended outsourcing. I was rarely on board with that. It's usually much harder to manage a service provider than a function, at least if there's a manager with skill around.

My guess is that the super hasn't got a clue about management, or IT management at least, and that's why he isn't listening to you. Alternatively, perhaps he believes he can claim efficiency by killing the IT department and wnding 4? 5? jobs.

I think my sense of humor is sick enough that I, too, would stay to see the cluster-fuck up close. If you care about the school district, though, can you do that without getting too stressed?

If you care, you might let someone on the school board know of the problems. I'd do that if I was a taxpayer in the district.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27914   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8754212
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 4:52 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

If you can retire and there’s no real repercussions, I’d write a non-emotional list of the issues and bring them up at the school board. This is a giant train wreck about to happen and the losers will be the students and the taxpayers. Who is above the superintendent? Can you cc them? I mean you can be one super squeaky wheel from now until you retire (protect your pension if you get one). Squeak away!

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5117   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8754213
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 10:43 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

It's usually much harder to manage a service provider than a function, at least if there's a manager with skill around.

My guess is that the super hasn't got a clue about management, or IT management at least, and that's why he isn't listening to you. Alternatively, perhaps he believes he can claim efficiency by killing the IT department and wnding 4? 5? jobs.

That's why I couldn't understand why the director was the first to go.. You need someone who understands tech enough to manage the service provider. It's harder to do that as the MSP is trying to minimize the resource spend to maximize profit. Part of doing that is categorizing as much as possible as out of their scope. You need someone to argue back against that. My guess is the IT director wasn't onboard with the MSP decision and left due to it.

The thing is inertia keeps tech running for a while. Especially if the processes and systems were well functioning going into the onboarding period. But everything descends into chaos when left on it's own. MSP's are not incentivized to do anything but what is in their contract. If it's time to resolve. That's what they do. eg. Tell end user to restart and close the ticket. They are not looking out for the best interests of the school system. Like how can we do what needs to be done while minimizing disruptions on the teaching. There's many a CIO who came in made the splash by offboarding IT and moved on before the full price was paid. Superintendent's who make rash decisions like this seldom stick around much longer then their first contract. That's if they make it that long.

[This message edited by grubs at 10:45 PM, Wednesday, September 7th]

posts: 1373   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8754253
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 toonces (original poster member #25949) posted at 9:48 PM on Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

hello everyone,

Here's an update:

Kids returned to school on the Tuesday after Labor Day. The next day (Wednesday), chromebooks were distributed to grades 12-8. Higher grades first, 8th being last. We ran out of power adapters about into a third of the 8th grade distribution so the remaining distribution was stopped. Last April, we told the outsourcing company that we were going to need more chargers by fall. As you can guess, the chargers were never ordered (about $20-$40 each).

I come into work the following day and see about a dozen help desk tickets routed to me by the outsourcing company to assist staff in other buildings (IT staff that covered those buildings have left the school district). So I 7:05am I am p*ssed.

By 11am, the outsourcing company "found" more power adapters and told me to do distribution by myself. I look up the remaining 8th students and there's still over 100+ kids waiting on chromebooks. By then I'm done.

I load up my car with my belongings and drive to the superintendent's building. There in the parking lot is the outsourcing owner's car. I walk in and see the HR clerk. I gave her my cell phone, badge, keys, and building access card and said "I'm done" and walked out.

Since I was the last IT person left and I just quit, the news reached city hall. We'll see what will happen.

Thanks for reading.
Toonces

Me - BS
Her - WS
affair length - 6 months with OM
married since 7/92
d-day 4/2002

posts: 280   ·   registered: Oct. 23rd, 2009   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8755123
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little turtle ( member #15584) posted at 4:09 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

Wow. That's too bad for the district and everyone who is now affected by this poor decision. I can't say I'm really surprised that you quit. We knew it wasn't going to go well without major changes and no one was listening.

What are you planning to do now that you're retired?? smile

Failure is success if we learn from it.

posts: 5526   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2007   ·   location: michigan
id 8755224
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 6:09 AM on Sunday, September 18th, 2022

Sorry it came to that, but keeping your sanity is priceless.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1500   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8755806
Topic is Sleeping.
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