Monday, 14 January 2013

(no subject)

Monday, 14 January 2013 14:12
There are some good things about working for a very old institution. It has some wonderful traditions. It has a rich long history. Nobody says 'where?' when you tell them where you work. And I could take or leave capital-p Prestigious as a concept, but there is something wonderful about knowing how many of our former students went on to shape the world.

So mostly it's great - until you stumble across The Thing. The Thing takes many different forms in many varied areas, but it always has this in common: a) it is a rule or a way of doing things which seems bizarre/outmoded/surreal/totally impractical, and which everyone agrees causes hassle; and b) if you suggest changing it in any way at all, the response is "but it's always done that way" or "I know it's sort of stupid, but we've been doing it so long now we couldn't start changing things" or "we just have to do it this way, it's how things are."

And this isn't graduation gown colours or the Latin motto or anything. This is stuff like office allocations, or what weird minor tasks have to be done by the secretaries, or how you get your marking passed to you, or what time the exams are (which I appreciate would be hellish to change by itself, but isn't this something we could have done while the teaching year was being massively rearranged, so we didn't have exams turning up at times everyone agrees are stupid? No, apparently, no we couldn't. Exams have to be at this time of year because this is the time of year when exams are.)

I do like it here, but there are times when it's like living in bloody Gormenghast.

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