Thursday, August 22, 2013

In One Day, Two Signs That Computers Are Taking Over The World

Well. I am fairly incensed at the moment, what with computers knowing what's best for me. Of course, fairly incensed for Hillbilly Mom is like a normal person winning the lottery and celebrating with a unicorn pinata stuffed with cotton candy.

We are on our sixth day of school. Ever since the first day, I have been dutifully reporting absences on our district computer system. That's Standard Operating Procedure, you know. If a child is not present in your classroom when scheduled to be there, that child is absent. Not rocket science. Easy peasy.

In the past, and even this school year, I have called the office on occasion, and also queried a power that has been at the lunch table. "What about so-and-so? Do we still count her absent? The kids say she moved." Or, "I haven't seen what's-his-face since the first day. How long should I keep counting him absent?" And the answer has always been to continue marking the student absent until notified by the office. Uh huh. That's SOP.

Imagine my surprise today, when I called to ask about two no-shows. I suspected I would be told to follow SOP. But no. I was asked, "WHO? We don't have anyone here by that name. No. Not that one, either. Do you mean that kid with the same first name, this last name? No? Well, we don't have anyone enrolled by that name. Are you sure you're looking on Newmentia's website?" And to add insult to this crushing injury, this inquiry as to my sanity, another office-dweller added, "There is no one in our system with those names. Are you sure they're on your list?"

Yes. On my list to take attendance, on my roster in the gradebook system, and on my computer seating-chart software to be seated on the chart. Calls were made. The students in question had left the district last year. Yet SOMEBODY had put them in my class this year. I was told, "Whatever you do, don't mark them absent!" Like they were going to eat chicken after midnight and leave pods of gremlins all over the building. I didn't count them absent. Today. But then I was told to go back in and make them unabsent for the other five days. The days that I had been SOPPING them. Which the computer didn't take kindly to, me trying to horn in on its action. Imagine the anarchy if teachers were able to go back in time and adjust attendance!

So here I had been, dutifully SOPPING, for five days. Not knowing that no such people existed within our walls. Like I had some kind of sixth sense to tell me that. SOPPING like an Olympic-caliber SOPPER. A world-class champion of SOP. SOPPING like the best SOPPER who ever SOPPED. And all for naught. For not even a thank you for my SOPPINESS.

They're still on my roster. Computer-1, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom-0.

This morning I checked a message on my answering machine. As of 12:30 yesterday, one of my prescriptions that was supposed to be ready at 1:30 was delayed. Funny. I have no prescriptions pending. That automated courtesy call came from CeilingReds. I called during my plan time to see what was up.

"I don't see anything that is here or on order for you. Those automated calls are for customer courtesy, you know. They don't always work right. We don't know what goes on with them sometimes. If you are not missing any prescriptions, I wouldn't worry about it."

Hmm...perhaps this is how they can say I got 60 days instead of 30. The old fake courtesy call switcheroo. Farmer H says they can't say I got medicine unless I sign for it. And I reminded him that once upon two times, I signed for 30, and both times they said I got 60. He shut up kind of quick-like.

SOMEBODY thinks I have another prescription coming. Let's hope it's not my insurance. Computer-2, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom-0.

So there you have it. Now computers are conspiring against me.

Imagine if those things were involved with your money. WAIT A MINUTE!


Sioux said...

Yeah, we have kids that told us they were moving at the end of last year, they don't show up this year, they are dutifully put on our roster, but the muckety-mucks think they know more than we do.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I can't believe how I was ridiculed for following Standard Operating Procedure! I suppose I should have just not marked them absent for six days. Because that's the new right thing to do.

The whole situation would have been pretty funny if I was not in the midst of giving benchmark pretests. In fact, it would have been a hilarious topic for SOMEBODY'S blog. How an old dog like me can't learn the new trick of not-counting kids absent in the computer system when they're not in class.

It's a case of the left hand doesn't know what the computer is doing.