'It's the system what done it' - Dave

April 21, 2011

The two men in sole charge of our university maintenance, "Dave" and "Vince", have admitted that they are dealing with the university's pressing infrastructural crisis by "largely making things up as we go along".

The trouble started some time ago when Dave and his trusted mate Vince were called out to attend a serious cash-flow leak. But no sooner had they plugged this leak with some improvised policy padding than they were called to further breakdowns elsewhere that threatened the viability of the entire university system.

When our reporter Keith Ponting (30) finally caught up with them, both Dave and Vince blamed the debacle on a man called "Browne" who had devised the system in the first place and had been chosen for the job because his previous experience with a leading oil firm had given him special expertise in "leaking infrastructures".

And the winner is?

Our Head of University Award Seeking, Gillian Decanter, has hit back at those who have criticised our university's failure to submit an entry in the Outstanding Library Team category of the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards.

Ms Decanter said that although she had "the greatest respect" for the university library and intended to visit it "in the foreseeable future", she had been deterred from nominating it because the recent "radical restructuring" meant that it was now run not by a team but solely by Mrs Mavis Etherington.

Although there were no doubts about the service provided by Mrs Etherington, it had been felt that her solitary presence at the awards ceremony might have stood out alongside the 186-person team that Poppleton had entered for the Outstanding Marketing/Communications Team award.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Please note that the offer of a 'free coach' in last week's Personal Development newsletter referred to the current availability of a 'life coach'. I am sorry if this comes as a disappointment to all those who wrote in to book a visit to the Blackpool Illuminations.

Not quite far enough

One of our leading academics, Professor Gordon Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, has questioned the findings of a new study into "Burnout in university teaching staff" published in the journal Educational Research.

According to the study, this burnout manifests itself in "emotional exhaustion", a "cynical" attitude to others and "work-related dissatisfaction".

But Lapping pointed out that although he was "dead on his feet", regarded most of his colleagues as "a few clowns short of a circus" and thoroughly detested almost every aspect of his current work, he was surprised that the report made no mention of such other "critical burnout indicators" as incipient alcoholism, suicidal tendencies and an obsessive desire to impale the vice-chancellor on the central prong of the university mace.


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