Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snow

Funny day today! Went to bed with it snowing, and woke up to find it still snowing. I've lived in Sheffield City Centre for 15 years, and have never seen snow as deep. I reckon it was about 12inches. It was also very quiet. I'm used to noise - trams, buses, cars, people going past. So, as Business Continuity is a part of my remit,   some calling around various senior managers to decide what to do. Not going into all the decision making process and rationale, but it was agreed to cancel teaching and only ask staff to get in if they could safely walk. eMails had to be sent to all staff and students, and my first mistake was to do it from home, from my laptop, using my personal email account, with my phone number in the signature. Cue hundreds of replies and phone calls from students who thought I could answer questions about every single lecture, seminar, tutorial, practical class.....

Despite the University being quiet, those of us involved in managing the incident seemed to be busier than ever! Lots of phone calls to make, emails and web pages to sort out, snow to walk through to 4 incident meetings.  Trying to keep basic services going such as helpdesks, the switchboard, maintenance, and liaising with other senior managers about services and cover. Most people have no idea what it takes to run a University and keep it operating - even with restricted services. We kept many things open today, including the Information Commons, the Students' Union, Catering outlets, Libraries, telephone and IT support, estates support, security, portering and lots more. Lots of thanks due to many staff, some of whom had very long uncomfortable walks in to work and back.

Now we're keeping an eye on tomorrow. For folks at ShefUni, updates are here.

4 comments:

René Meijer said...

I can still see the guy coming into the IC in full skiing outfit, putting his skis behind the concierges desk for safe keeping. Good times :)

Dave Eyre said...

Learning Support was also open!

Anonymous said...

Great work today from everyone, but I have to ask, what is the photo?

Chris Sexton said...

It's a piece of topiary near where I live. Started off as a man, but turned into a woman a couple of years ago. Thought she looked good covered in snow last night!