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Monday, February 25, 2008

Textbook reps are annoying, really...

I spent over two hours on the phone with one of our textbook reps, trying to figure out the changes coming our way since we are finally moving from Office 2003 to Office 2007. This person had a high-pitched, really annoying, voice, spoke a mile a minute, kept interrupting me, oozed sweetness that was totally overdone, kept placing me on hold to go and check on things she should have known, refused to send materials unless I decided to use their product... Grrrrrrrrrrr...

To make things worse, one of the new simulations didn't work on my computer and so I am not sure if I should mess with it. It's asking for trouble -- if I couldn't figure out how to install it, what would my students do?!?! The textbook rep connected me with their Tech Support guy and he added to the already annoying situation.

TSG: Do you have admin privileges on your computer?
Alice: Yes.
TSG: Are you sure?
Alice: Yes.
TSG: How do you know?
Alice: Grrrrrrrrrrr (silently). I teach technology courses and so IT people trust me.
TSG: I need to make sure. Let's check this, this, and that.
Alice: OK

It was insulting, did he think I was lying???
When he was finally satisfied that I indeed had full privileges (didn't I tell you, you moron???), he gave a link and a password to download an extra file and drop it into program files; the process involved quite a number of steps. Although no big deal for me, it would be difficult for most of my students. When I told him that, he turned 180 and proceeded to ooze sweetness and declare that their Tech Support would always support my students. Yeah, sure!

Well, the simulation worked -- finally! My next question was about submitting assignments online. More head scratching, placing on hold, etc. Come on, people, can't you learn the specifications of your product?

Anyway, I told the woman I will use the product -- that was the only way to get the review copy. How insane is that?! The only reason I didn't laugh and walked away with thanks but no thanks is lack of decent resources in this particular subject area. So I am going to take a look at the book, play with simulation, and then make a final decision. If she thinks it's a done deal, too bad.

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