My official title here is Instructional Design Specialist. Some of my job duties include teaching the faculty how to use our learning management system, troubleshooting problems with that system, providing guidance and direction for best practices for developing online learning activities, and how to best structure online classes. I work with people from all over campus through email, over the phone, in scheduled classes, and during individual consultations. I’ve been here nearly 14 years and I’m pretty fucking good at what I do, if I do say so myself. I like the people, I like the higher ed vibe, and I really enjoy what I do. Most of the time.
Every now and then we have to deal with what we refer to as a “frequent flyer.” Those are the people that take up most of your time with the same damn questions over and over. Either they don’t absorb the instructions you give them, they’re not really interested in learning but someone has told them they have to do X, or they’re just fucking lazy. If you’re real lucky it’s a combo of all three.
One of our frequent fliers just called to ask when I’ll next be in the satellite office. I told her, figuring she’d then tell me what it was she wants help with, but no, she just said that she’d see me then and hung up. I’m pretty sure I know what she wants and I’ve already told her that I can’t help her. There’s certain things I can do and certain things that are entirely beyond my control. What she wants is beyond my control because it deals with software her students have to install on their own computers.
So I’ve told my boss about it to cover my ass. She agrees that I’ve done my due diligence and there’s nothing further for me to do. But this woman will push because that’s just the way she is. Fortunately we’ve already been in touch with her department chair because she’s been taking up more and more of our time lately, often for the exact same issues and sadly she brings 90% of these issues on herself. If it’s true that you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of time, we end up spending 80% of our time helping 20% of the faculty.
Fortunately, since I do work for a state institution, Monday is a holiday for us. That means I have the next 3 days to stew about this. Yay.