12 August 2008


I've been at my new job for nearly two months now. You may recall I wasn't exactly sure this was going to be a good thing. I wildly understated the grimness and wildly overstated my optimism, mostly because I wasn't sure who might be reading. I can now say much of the grim is gone, and there's a plan for fixing a bit more soon. Some things I did not expect to get better are going surprisingly well. The week I was in Maine there were even a few moments, mostly around 5:30 in the morning and two kids were looking for breakfast, when I started looking forward to getting back to the office. 

One really fun part of the job has been researching some new equipment and spending some serious coin. Did you know it's possible to spend $14k on a scanner? Until very recently, I would have guessed no. I've bought three plotters (one also weighing in around $14k), fifteen PCs, the aforementioned scanner, and just for good measure, a server. That's some serious shopping endorphins! 

There's been a bit of software to buy too. Last Friday we were looking at renewing some licenses that cost around $21k last year. The quote came in at $29k. By the end of the day on Monday, by virtue of a couple of serendipitous phone calls my outstanding research and negotiating skills, I had bought more seats of the same software and paid around $11k for it. Gold star on my forehead, no?

I may be spending someone else's money but it's still pretty fun. Now I just need to work on getting the students to stay away for a few more weeks. We are not ready, and will not be ready for classes to start in less than two weeks. I may be working financial miracles but that one is just a little bit beyond my skill set.

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