Friday, July 6, 2018

The automation services paradox

Here at my library we have an Automation Services Department. They are responsible for all our computers and our computer based and automated systems, like our big Automated Check In Machine. Unfortunately this department takes an unreasonably long time to fix anything, but they emphatically don't want us to fix anything ourselves even if sometimes we're pretty good at that.

This has created The Automation Services Paradox, which goes like this:

Rule 1: All computer and automation failures must be brought to the attention of the Automation Services staff, and all repairs must be effected by Automation Services staff.

Rule 2: The Automation Services Department is overtaxed. Please do not contact Automation Services staff with non emergencies.


  1. Would their egos be placated if they were notified and asked to "allow" others to make fixes? Just get rid of this sentence: "...all repairs must be effected by Automation Services staff" and replace it with "...must be approved by Automation Services...."

    In any case, I have to give them props for knowing how to use "effected" correctly. Back in the day, I spent too much time trying to pound effect/affect into an unreceptive writer's brain!

    1. I'm afraid you're giving them way too much credit. The issue is less one of ego and more one of a paralyzing insecurity.

      Also I'm afraid the "effecting" is mine, created in a sort of paraphrasing of their policies. But usually to get my usage right on that I have to stare at the effect/affect rules for 15 or 20 minutes.


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