// you’re reading...


Going-Away Rooms

Hmn. I was going to blog about my day, or about why I haven’t blogged for a week or so, or about the splendid weekend in London, but instead I’m going to expose a pernicious evil in the world. An evil I’ve personally witnessed spreading its wicked, slimy tentacles across the crisply trimmed lawn of truth in the last few days.

I’m talking about Room Audits.

Four times yesterday (five if you count the time I was running a seminar in another room) the door to the lecture/workshop room we were using slowly opened and a wizened man with a clipboard peered anxiously round, before nodding at everyone and closing the door again, writing things on his clipboard as he did so.

This many have alarmed some students, and as a result, after the third time it happened, I made a joke about him being my dad. This may have alarmed them rather more, so I stopped.

But – four times. Twice in the morning. Twice in the afternoon. And there they were again today at lunchtime – our elderly friend and his lady companion, taking lunch while ticking things off on their clipboards.

That’s two days (at least!) of opening doors, peering around them, not apologising, and then doing it all over again an hour or two later.

And, I wondered this morning, as I saw them at it again, what are they going to do if they find a room that displeases them? Aside from the question of exactly how a room might fall foul of the Room Audit, the fate that might await such a transgressor is difficult to imagine. I fear a terrible mis-use of the space-time continuum, and the discovery one morning that room 0D55 has simply ceased to exist. Gone. Ripped from this reality, and removed to one filled with students who need a spare lecture room with a dodgy electrical set-up and iffy wireless network.

Actually that makes some sense. Maybe the reason the electrics in 55 are iffy and the wireless never quite works is that it’s really a room that wasn’t being utilised properly elsewhere, and it’s been transplanted to this campus.

But, back in the real world – what is this intended to achieve? We can’t actually remove rooms, and short of deciding that a course in Accountancy is going to be run in a room we’re not using on a Monday morning, there’s not a lot that can be done. Additionally, now that our rooms are booked through a central resource, surely the sensible way of assessing their use would be to look at the bookings, see what the use is, and spend half an hour (rather than two days) making sure a sample of the reality matches the paperwork.

So – a terrible waste of University resources, to investigate the allocation of, hang on. University resources.

I need another banana.


One comment for “Going-Away Rooms”

  1. Terrible waste and officious mismanagement in a University? I’d never have believed it…

    Posted by mongo | October 28, 2008, 7:28 pm

Post a comment