The school district I work for has a bad policy about personnel management. Near as I can tell, the object is to motivate their people by kicking them in the ass. I'm not sure if they're trying to scare people into fearing for their jobs, or if the Superintendent just thinks that constant criticism causes people to work harder, but they do regular walkthroughs and inspections, and they NEVER have anything good to say, and they will pounce on ANY little thing that gives them an excuse to be critical. They gave one of the best math teachers I've ever seen a faceful because his room was "messy and unclean." *
Anyway, they've apparently programmed the main computer servers along these lines. When I checked my work email this morning, I had a snippy automated note from the computer, stating that I had fallen below the number of grades dictated by District policy, and that I was expected to correct this dereliction of my duty as soon as possible.
I was confused for a moment. What? Ohh, wait, Spring Break! I didn't enter any grades for Spring Break. That's why the computer's bitching at me.
At first, I thought about doing nothing, until I thought about it for a moment. Everyone else in the building probably got the same snippy email. Surely, administration would look into it... realize what the problem was... and ignore it.
Until I remembered what happened last time I ignored one of those snippy automatic notes. The following week I got another one that said, "Your failure to correct your dereliction has been noted. Your principal has been notified. Please note that you are in dereliction of your duty to comply with District policy."
Yeah, like my principal has nothing better to do than come down to my room and beef at me about my number of grades in the gradebook. But when I thought about it, I realized that he was probably going to have to investigate half the teachers in the building next week... because THEY would all ignore the snippy email.
So I said the hell with it, opened up my gradebook, and entered three grades for all my kids for all my classes for Spring Break. That week, none of them showed up, and I gave them all "EXCUSED" grades for all three assignments. This will bring me up to the minimum number of grades, and the machine will quit bitching at me.
So... my upper echelon bosses programmed a MACHINE to bitch at me, and I did what it wanted, for no other reason than to spare my LOWER echelon bosses the hassle of coming and checking into my grades for reasons they'd already know by the time they got to me.
Man, I work for some weird people...
*They checked his room between third and fourth period... after several herds of seventh and eighth graders had stampeded in and out. They didn't have time to actually watch him TEACH, so they bitched him out for ... apparently... not leaping forth and picking up all the litter the kids left. Apparently, math teachers should also be part-time custodians...