What a horrible / brilliant / horrible day it has been..... Dropped Molly off at school; she's really nervous / excited about the prize day this afternoon where she's got to do a trumpet performance and is up for the position of Head Girl.
Then along to my school. Generally an indication of how utterly crap or good my day is going to be is a combination of how far I get past reception before someone says "Richard.... such and such is looking for you" and how many frantic pleas for help are on the whiteboard in the ICT suite. Today we had both. Network trouble. Which first looked simpler to solve, then I realised it was happening across most, but not all of the school.
Devastated, I phoned Louise to tell her I wouldn't be making prize day. The first such thing I've missed since I missed Molly's first sports day ages ago in Birmingham. Pledged then that I wouldn't do it again. Utterly sickened that I might miss her getting head girl.
If you have a look through various posts about my job, you should be able to get the idea that I'm pretty damn good at what I do, generally making ICT easier for pupils and staff and essentially making our kids digitally literate. But one thing I do fall down on is the hard techy network knowledge. What I do know is okay, but I don't know enough.
However, when I investigated the server cupboard and one bank of switches is flashing on and off like it's having it's own 4th July fireworks celebration, even I can figure out that this is not good.
Take cables out. No change.
Swap cables round. No change.
Turn it off. All switch lights go out.
Turn it back on. 4th Of July all over again.
Being not completely stupid I realise this is more than I can deal with. And I'm probably going to need a new switch thingy. Very handy ICT techy folks we used before are close by on a job and actually pop in within the hour - do everything I did and a bit more and eventually disconnect the switch box and can't get it to power on again. Swapping all the leads over to the other, smaller switch box solves the problems and off they go pledging to bring new switch box tomorrow or Wednesday.
This is great news; a hardware problem that's not my fault and network downtime that I couldn't do anything about.
Took until half 11 to get this sorted and organise the remaining switch box so that admin, myself and the ict suite have connections working.
Then a manic rush to get loads of Year 6 stuff printed and lots of reports reprinted. Seems a lot of staff didnt take my advice about proofreading the work to heart. Oh well. It may be a surprise next year when we limit their printing each term - some of them will run out after a couple of weeks.
It's quarter past one and I'm meant to be at the prize giving by half one. Manic rush to make sure everyone knows I've done everything I can until we get the new hardware and then out the door. Race to prize day (within the speed limit of course. No more speeding fines for me) and settle down in the chair just as the head comes on for her introductory speech.
The very act of finally stopping means the hideously bad headache finally takes hold and I sit for the next two hours with my head throbbing painfully.
And yes - Molly did get the Head Girl award - see here. What a wonderful girl we have!