One of the greatest challenges an IT professional in education will ever face is not even a technical problem. There are neither recalcitrant students nor inerudite staff involved in this conundrum, and not even the weather or an Act of God is responsible for this repeated source of stress.
No, you see, the most challenging thing I have to deal with is trying to get couriers to deliver during the holidays.
Some couriers are fine. Others are utter morons who are convinced that all schools are firmly closed for the entire holidays, and will therefore abandon their attempts at delivery at the earliest opportunity.
The worst example of this was a Parcel Force (aka Parcel Farce) delivery about 2 years ago. I was expecting it on a particular day, and when it did not arrive, I checked the online tracking. I was thoroughly irritated to find that it had been marked “DELIVERY ATTEMPTED” and returned to the depot, despite the fact I had left detailed instructions on the front door of reception for anyone to see.
The next day, I was more wary. All day, we kept an eye on the CCTV watching the front door. Meanwhile, I checked the online tracking periodically for any clue as to what time we might expect a big red van to appear following the “OUT FOR DELIVERY” message from about 7.30am.
At about 1pm, it changed to “DELIVERY ATTEMPTED – HOLD AT DEPOT”.
I was furious.
I called the Parcel Farce helpline and asked what they thought they were playing at. The numpty on the other end of the phone insisted that a delivery had indeed been attempted. I explained that we had just reviewed the CCTV footage for the entire morning and that no delivery driver had even got as far as the car park, let alone the front door. After a slightly heated exchange, they begrudgingly agreed to send it out again the next day on the premise that ‘perhaps they went to the wrong address’.
Lo and behold, it arrived.
On the box, written twice, in two different sets of handwriting, were the words “SCHOOL CLOSED – SUMMER HOLIDAYS”.
It quickly became apparent that both previous drivers, lazy reprobates through and through, had simply assumed the school would be shut and not even bothered to check.