Day: September 1, 2020

I’m Not Leaving Without a Fight

If the human female thinks she can escape her workplace without a farewell barrage of mischief from me, she’s either stupid (quite likely!) or willfully delusional (almost certain.)

The phones have finally been replaced with the new VOIP units, and now I know where the word “VOIP” comes from. That’s the feeble, pathetic sound they make when a call comes in.

voip…. voip…

It’s so faint that it sounds like a proper phone ringing in another room, so even when a call does come in, the subconscious files it under “someone else’s problem” and filters it right out. The sound quality’s not so great either. The person on the other end of the line sounds as if they’ve been stuffed into a bus station locker—-muffled and distinctly tinny.

The Teaching Assistants and Lab Instructors continue to rearrange their lab and office hour schedules with merry abandon. No sooner does the human female compile and distribute the information than someone announces that they’ve changed something. One enterprising Lab Instructor (hired to teach six sections) quit entirely the day before classes started, leading to some hair-pulling and creatively colorful language on the part of the Intro Bio Director. There’s one TA whose name doesn’t match what the university says it is (married over a year ago), as well as a Lab Instructor whose existence the university doesn’t acknowledge at all. He’s not in the directory and thus cannot be added to the list of lab users the human female had to compile and submit to BioRaft.

Ah, BioRaft. This is the University’s newest attempt at herding cats. In theory, it is a place to gather all the lab safety for the university under one benevolent umbrella. In practice, however, it is being slowly implemented and is still earning a big, redN in “works and plays well with others.” The entire Intro Bio program is one reporting unit, with the human female in charge of reporting. She got the initial listing set up without too much fuss, noting which permanent staff members face which workplace hazards. Toxic chemicals? Check. UV light radiation? Check. Infectious biological agents? Yes, please. Now, however, she has to enter in the information for each of the fifty or so TAs and LIs. “Can’t I,” she asked sweetly, “submit a spreadsheet with each of the pertinent persons, their contact info, and the hazards they face? Surely such could be imported into the guts of the program?” “Don’t be silly!” BioRaft has answered. “Remember our slogan: “One by one is more fun!”

BioRaft has the same notion about hazardous chemical inventory. They’ve been promising for about six months that “real soon now” it is going to be possible to upload a spreadsheet with names quantities, container type, location, manufacturer, and particular hazard for each and every chemical Intro Bio uses. The human female has had such a spreadsheet ready go since forever, but each inquiry has been met with, “you bet, but not yet!” I had big hopes for BioRaft as a source of aggravation for the human female and hilarity for me, but now that the stupid wench is running away retiring, she’s deprived me of that pleasure, and I’m more than a little put out.

I continue to have fun with the computing software infrastructure on campus. One day last week, Zoom had problems nationwide, wreaking havoc on the ability to teach or take classes online. Then there were problems with eCampus, the portal for all grades and assignments. If I could find a way to feed off frustration and panic like some sci-fi monster, I would be as fat as Volstagg.

The construction in the building, which has afforded me so many, many opportunities for outages, delays, noises, and funny smells, and which was originally supposed to be complete before classes started on August 19, is nearing completion but is by no means done yet. I believe the major work is done, but the workmen are still in the installing fixtures/ running wiring/ painting/ running around without masks/ parking in other people’s spaces stage.

They’ve nearly finished with their total disruption of Prep Staff’s office space. Let us examine the progress.

It looks a little less “horror movie” now and a bit more “comedy of errors.” Buuuuuut… Do you see that blank wall to the right? That demarcates the area that was “borrowed” from the office to allow for a duct conduit from regions below to regions above. What do you notice?

I’ll give you a minute. Humpty tum, humpty tumpty tumpty tum. Got it? No? Sigh. Silly mortal.

It’s not what’s there that’s the problem. It’s what’s missing! Behind that partition is the AC vent for the entire room, and the new blank wall is missing the electrical outlet and the ethernet port that used to be there. Ehehehehehe! Prep Staff is going to be warm and unconnected unless the contractors can be persuaded to come out and remedy the situation. I could be wrong ( I’m definitely cynical) but their, “Oh, yes. We know. It was always part of the plan and we intended to fix it. Yes, that’s right,” rings a bit hollow…

Oh, and the faucets in 313? No running water. Or, rather, there’s a steady stream of hot water trickling from the tap, but no more than that, and no cold at all. Hooray! One more round of fun with Slow, Silent, and Costly before the human female leaves.

Soon alas, I will have to give all this up. No more con/destruction. No more fun with (f)utilities. No more Intro Bio. I’m bereft.

Bereft, but not out of options. Just you wait, human female. There are more ways to torment you than just the university…

>|: [