Home thoughts from abroad

August 25, 2011

Evidence that phone hacking may now be endemic on our campus is provided by this recently released transcript of a relatively intimate conversation between Professor Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies and his departmental secretary, Maureen. We have chosen to print the transcript in its entirety in the interests of salacity.

10.30am Departmental Office

Welcome to the Vodafone voice message service. I'm sorry but the person you called is not available. Please leave a message after the tone.

Professor Lapping. This is Maureen calling. I need to speak to you urgently about Clearing. I'll try again in half an hour.

11.00am Departmental Office

Welcome to the Vodafone voice message service. I'm sorry but the person you called is not available. Please leave a message after the tone.

Professor Lapping. You absolutely promised you'd leave your mobile on in France but I can't get it to ring. Is it off? Or could you please go somewhere where there's better reception because I have an urgent message about Clearing. But I'm just dashing out of the office so don't ring for five minutes.

11.05am Departmental Office

You have one new message. Press 1 to hear.

Maureen, this is ridiculous. You go on about me ringing and now I do ring and you're not even there. How could I know which five minutes you were talking about when you said you were out of the office for five minutes? I've only just picked up your message. Couldn't pick it up any earlier because we were climbing up the very steep side of one of the calanques they have in this part of France. Very, very precipitous. In fact, only a moment ago Mrs Lapping slipped on the scree and could easily...

The other person has cleared

11.06am Departmental Office

Welcome to the Vodafone voice message service. I'm sorry but the person you called is not available. Please leave a message after the tone. Then hang up or press the hash key for further options.

Professor Lapping. I'm now back in the office and have just got your message, but you must still be stuck in those kerlanks because you got cut off and I'm now not getting any reception. And I was only out of the office so that I could make certain that Mr Odgers wasn't using the photocopier for his handout on looting as a revolutionary act. But I'm here now, so please ring again.

11.10am Departmental Office

Maureen, is that you?

Professor Lapping, at last. Yes, it's me.

Hold on a second, Maureen, while I get a better foothold.

The other person has cleared

Sorry about that, Maureen. Accidentally slipped into a poorer reception area and nearly took Mrs Lapping with me. So what's happening?

It's about Clearing, Professor Lapping. You recall that Dr Quintock is doing it this year. Well, he wanted you to know that he doesn't need to do it at all because we've filled every place already. And yet they've still got places left in...guess where?

Where, Maureen, where?

Psychology.

Missed that, Maureen. Look I'll just pull myself up a little on this overhanging branch so I'm away from the obstruction of the cliff and more or less hanging in mid-air. Now, tell me again. Which department still has places left for Clearing?

Psychology.

Psychology? You mean those fact-grubbing, rat-torturing, questionnaire-ticking pseudo-scientists have had to go cap in hand and beg for students? Hip hip hoo...

The other person has cleared

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments