Letter to the Editor: Customer Disservice

Currently, Sam Houston State University is offering lousy customer service on two fronts: computers and its’ swimming pool. When it comes to computers the university just seems to roll its eyes and tell you “oh well, get used to it.” When it comes to the pool being closed on a perfectly good day, the university takes a patronizing tone and cites “safety.”

On the issue of the computers, everyone can well imagine what I’m referring to: the lousy performance of Blackboard and the inferior product quality of Office 2007. What good is it to pay massive amounts of money in tuition and fees for university computers and to take classes that rely on these programs to turn in homework and assignments if you can’t access them to get your work turned in? What good does it do me as a student to have Office 2007 when industry refuses to upgrade to it because they deem it to be business unfriendly? How am I supposed to perform assignments for a grade when the instructions I’m given for Excel 2003 no longer exist or have been moved to the nether regions of Excel 2007? Really, what good is 2007 when it takes me 30 minutes and a team of lab techs (who want to throw 2007 out the window just as badly as I do) to perform something that took 30 seconds or a click of a mouse button to do on Office 2003? Aren’t our professors fed up with having assignments emailed to them instead of put into Blackboard like they should be? How many screenshots have you taken to prove to your professor that Blackboard was all messed up? How many times this semester has your profile been corrupted?

How much of this nonsense will the University put up with before they hand back their Microsoft 2007 license, ask for a refund and a return of their Microsoft 2003 license? Seriously, the natives are pissed and the lab techs are ready to join demonstrations incognito. Personally, I’m ready to light up an effigy of Bill Gates.

While Bill Gates’ effigy is getting toasty, one area you certainly won’t be able to submerge him is the HKC lap pool. Turns out management over there has this stupid, lawyer meter called a Skyscan. There is no truth in advertising for this chicken little “the sky is falling” device for it should really be called Cryscam. Currently, when a cloud is in the sky the HKC will log onto the Internet and say: “Oh my god, look: clouds in The Woodlands!” They then get out their homework and turn on Cryscam who starts beeping its fearful little heart out. Next thing you know your swim workout or relaxing afternoon by the pool is shot to hell as the lifeguards run you off when there is no thunder or lightning. When asked about Cryscam the lifeguards will commence to tell you about “some administrator’s brother’s cousin’s neighbor who was hit by lightning on a clear day.” The management isn’t that much better at useful explanations. Instead of “BearKat aquatics” we need to rename the whole thing “ScaredyKat aquatics.”

New products and policies are not always better. Microsoft Office 2007 and Cryscam are two products that have negative cost benefit and are user unfriendly to the students and faculty here at Sam Houston State University. Most often, its better to say “no” to change for the sake of it or to be “safer.” Bring Microsoft Office 2003 back to university computers and throw Cryscam into the deep end of the HKC pool.

“Thunder? (turn radio volume up) What thunder? I didn’t hear any thunder, did you?

God, I miss the old days. All I hear now is the fretful, justifying cries of those that run things into the ground in the name of safety and new technology.

-Darrell Rose


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