Friday, September 23, 2005

Me, a sinner

I've been given the task of updating the HKSA website by default. A task that has landed on my plate since before the summer. At the time, my plan was to get a student helper to do it. Someone at work recommended someone else but that someone else won't be available till some time later, and by the time that some time arrived, of course I had already totally forgotten about it.

Anyhow, so I ended up having to do it. Okay, I thought, how hard can it be. I got a couple of tips from our secretary who is responsible for updating our website, and went about fiddling with the HKSA one. Predictably enough, after about three minutes at it, I already managed to save too many copies of the same file and immediately forgotten which is which. Index1 and ecover ended up having the same content; cleft has three versions in three different folders; and so on. Basically I managed to erase the webpage altogether. Luckily I didn't quite manage to erase all the files on the server. Pheeeew!

So I called our secretary for help, who doesn't really know anything about this sort of thing. She then proceeded to call the IT guy who upkeeps our university website and talked him through my problems, and the two of them managed to fix some of my problems after about fifteen minutes on the phone.

(In case you're wondering what I was doing this whole time, well, I kind of, did ... er.... nothing.)

Anyhow, last night I thought, what the hell, it's unlikely I could ever put the whole thing together without driving myself crazy. The HKSA president has approved of a 1000 bucks budget for getting a cheap labour to update the website, so I thought, I'll just call this IT guy and ask him to come show me the ropes and I'll offer to pay him a thousand bucks. Which was really foolish of me, as it turns out. A simple plan like this really shows me up to be a truly awful person.

So this morning, I went to the library and took out a couple of reference books for Frontpage and Web page design in a half-baked attempt at sorting out my problems for myself. After flipping through them for 30 seconds, I realised there is no way I would spend my time reading plodding through all that crap which is so written for..... for NOT me! So I called this IT guy and explained to him my offer. An offer he could not refuse. A thousand bucks would be like a tenth of his monthly salary, surely.

Hello? Yes, it's me again. Sorry to bother you.

Hi. What's the problem now?

Well, I made these hyperlinks which appears in Frontpage view but not on the actual website! I just can't figure out what I'd done wrong...'ll need to be a bit more specific....

Hey how about you come over and show me how to do it properly, and I'll pay you?


It's much easier that way. I don't want to keep hassling you with stupid questions particularly since this is not related to my work here...


Hello? Are you still there?

.... yes... er.... are you in a great hurry?

Well, yes... kinda... you see... I...

Well, I'm kinda in the middle of something now...

How about later? Say before 4:30? or Monday? I'll pay you, I feel bad having to drag you in to help me ...

Ha ha ha... that's okay. You don't have to pay me.

(Right about here, I nearly blurted out "$1000! for an hour's work! surely you can't say no to that!")

... okay, I'll come over in 30 minutes, see what I can do.

So half an hour later he came in and I was shocked to see that he's not some kid but was obviously quite high up in the department since he's actually wearing a fucking suit! How often do you see an IT guy in a suit? Anyhow, I felt really ashamed of myself, for having offered him money, and for having dragged him over to help me. I was obviously thinking that he's some kid who would submit to my authority as, you know, an academic staff, and would certainly not say no to $1000 given their tiny pay checks. Especially since he sounded so much like a pushover (aka "nice") on the phone.

Anyways, he was really helpful and sorted out my problems in about twenty minutes.

Dear God, I am so ashamed of myself. I judged other people when I needn't and shouldn't, and I assumed myself to be better in the most pathetic of ways. I am a sinner. I beg for your mercy. Amen.

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