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Monday, 12 December 2011

Bitter? Moi?

I briefly mentioned during the week that through the school roll dropping a bit this year, the Principal decided that they couldn't afford to pay me the extra Management Unit (worth round $4000 per year before tax) I get at the present to help everyone with the KAMAR (computerised school management system) and to produce the student's reports every term.

At first I wasn't too bothered, as I had suspected something like this was going to happen, but I discovered yesterday that I am the ONLY teacher getting a pay cut.

This annoyed me slightly.

Then another incident gave me an example of what it is I actually do for NLHS.

It was noticed that one set of marks was not appearing in the reports, but existed in an electronic form in the correct place in the KAMAR mark books, and "could I please fix it quickly?" " As the reports had to be printed NOW" I was with Geordie teacher at the time, working on the timetable, and as I began to work my way through the troubleshooting tree to find the problem, he mentioned that it appeared bloody complex and that he wouldn't be able to find the problem without the manual.

I mentioned as I found the problem that there was no manual, it was all in my head, filed away as I had discovered all the undisclosed problems in the KAMAR system.  The problem was that on the 14th page of the markbook setting page the letter "A" had not been typed into a box when a subject had had its name changed (on a completely different subject setup page) last month.

The current DP in charge of curriculum also mentioned that they wanted to change the report format for next year's Term 1 report.  From a text comment (a real pain-in-the-arse to do) to a simple check-box based system.  This is a fairly lengthy project, requiring a fairly in-depth knowledge of the fields available and the intrinsic structure of a relational database.

Well the new DP in charge of the curriculum is Ringo.  So that means he's in charge of reports.

The Principal (who apparently felt really bad about taking away my Management Unit, but not as bad, probably, as I felt) mentioned that I shouldn't have got it in the first place, and that the DP in charge (Runner) at that time should just have learned to do it herself.

If that's what he thinks, then it would seem only equitable to let Ringo do it ALL himself.

The last time he was let loose on KAMAR, we had the worst timetable ever seen in NLHS, and for the first 4 - 6 weeks, the kids in the classes kept changing.

I wish him well of it.
There's an old Scottish tradition. No money, no work.

I would be willing of course to go back to the job as a consultant.  I would think about $1000 per diem should suffice.  Seeing that a KAMAR trainer from KAMAR itself costs about $1200 - $1600 per day, it would seem to be a bargain.

Time will tell.

Before Ringo
Organised Utopia

 After Ringo

Says it all really.


  1. In similar situations, I have found my dedication and skills seem to be directly proportional to the amount I'm getting paid to do the job. Altruism only extends so far.

    In your situation, I think my skills would evaporate, I'd get my admin logon locked out repeatedly, and I'd watch helplessly as Ringo cocks it up royally for several weeks before I remember where I kept that backup tape. Sometimes things need to be allowed to fail catastrophically to let management work out if they are important enough to pay for or not.

  2. I believe deeply in the no pay no work paradigm. My position hereafter would be, no volunteering, no trouble shooting, pleasing self satisfaction as others mess it up.

  3. Sad for you TSB.
    If they're taking that unit off you, who is getting it?
    I missed the speeches on Friday but heard that The Blackadder had to apologise for his performance in Brian'sTube. That's really sad. Sod the teachers too who told on him. Believe it or not, I've been known occasionally to make a bit of a dick of myself after a few too many chardonnays. I'll be avoiding teacher parties in future, knowing that the 'purer than thou' team might be there.

  4. Oh TSB me beinga former computer scientist like yourself have the ultimate power over the system. Always rememember that. (But you do eh?)You can code in a time bomb or two to really make sure Ringo (ors huld he be called Drongo??) makes a royal f**kup of KAMAR.

    Also it is a very bad thing to customize a packaged software system like KAMAR. You make work for yourself. Leave it up to the KAMAR people to do the changes, and charge heavily for it.

    Even better - Go and work for KAMAR yourself as a consultant, or set yourself up as an indepenedent consultant. Stop working for the man and be "the man". Teachers are not suppossed to be computer programmers, yet nearly every school I have worked in I see the poor HOD of Computing doing these things. Except at Big Valley HS where the other Accy teacher got herself setup in a specialised role as "Systems Administrator" to take care of the SMS. She is a smart lady to do that. Wonder how many MUs she gets?

    Another thought - If they take Mu's off you for going over and above in your job performance (which I know you do becasue I have seen what you take on), what to the y take off or give to the
    imbiciles like Ringo who completley screw things up?

    I suggest you take a look in the gazette. There's a nice job going there for you at a posh school in town. Check this out -

  5. Shackleford Hurtmore: Altruism? Sorry I don't know/recognise/agree with that word.

    As regards your second paragraph, Oh Yes, Just Let Them Wait. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Laoch:Yep. No pay, no work. Just the American Dream n'est ce pas?

    Ricgard[of RBB]: The MU doesn't go to anyone. Because of the probable roll drop, our grant reduces, and that includes MUs. Go out and breed damnit. I heard about the performance, but didn't see it myself. From what I gather it was just some mild innuendo. Some of our staff walk about with brooms up their arses.

    Alistair: Oh Yes. Just let them wait.

  6. TSB You don't need to tell the folk of NLHS to breed. It is not called Nappy Valley for no reason.
    Also I taught at least 5 ex NLHS students at the teen parent school I worked at last year. They are certainly a students when it comes to reproduction, and that is one part of science lesson I did not need to cover with them. SOem were so good they were onto their second production before the end of last year.

    Also NL has always been a highly transient place. Heres hoping for more migrants to arrive in January.
    Also kids will return when they realise how hard it is to get a job and need to fill in tiem before the reproduce. But will NLHS restore your MU if the roll does go up?

    Its all so political eh? And really unfair.

  7. We used to have similar "incentives" where I used to work, which bizarrely, consisted of getting people to do more and more work for the same money. Eventually all the ones who knew the systems inside out left, to be replaced by eager young things. The company eventually collapsed two years after I left it (not that the company depended on me, but I did know how certain things were done in practice rather than the crap they told the new entrants.)

  8. Our jobs are more similar than I realized. Consulting seems to be where all the big money is.

  9. VG: Are you out of your mind?

    Suggesting that the residents of NUOVA LAZIO get "stuck in" to some sort of breeding program ranks right up there with the world's worst ideas.

    It's almost as ba as suggesting Hone Harawera for Prime Minister.

    looby: been there, got the T shirt. One company i worked for completely closed their specialist sales division (including me), and we all got 1 months notice. EXCEPT for the bloody manager who got a sideways promotion. That's what really hurt, as it was his bloody fault the division crashed.

    I got a phone call the next week asking me to do a consultancy job for them, as there was nobody left who understood the processes we were selling.

    I thought £500 a day plus expences was fair (this was in the 1980s) I got 3 days. Bastards

    Patience Crabstick: "Our jobs are more similar than I realized" Did you get a pay cut for doing a good job as well?

  10. TSB - It was you not me that made the breeding suggestion in the first place. Imerely commented. refer to your earlier comment on this post 12/12/2011 70.50 pm "Go out and breed dammit".

    Please don't start goign all Ringo on us. It ahs been a bad enough year already.

    BTW I know several teachers who go ou and take on short term work int eh summer holidays, including one chap who plays Santa around local Malls. Others take on bar work and office temping "to make ends meet" so they tell me. Tis a sad world.

  11. VG: No; I actually said "go out and breed to Richard[of RBB], definitely NOT to the general feral (but mostly likeable) populace of Nuova Lazio


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