Laurie Taylor column

August 9, 2002

The Departmental Secretary
Department of Media and Cultural Studies
University of Poppleton
PP12 6HP

Dear Maureen

Yes, it's your old friend, Doctor Piercemuller.

I'm dropping you a postcard because when I popped into the department yesterday, I was surprised to find that you were not at your desk. No doubt you are taking your annual fortnight's vacation but I can't help thinking that you might have let key members of staff know in advance about your intended absence. (It's very difficult to carry out one's academic duties successfully when key members of staff suddenly disappear without apparent warning.)

I was particularly hoping to see you on this occasion so that I could mention a distressing email from Professor Lapping that I found on my computer when I returned recently from my student recruitment trip to the Dominican Republic.

According to this, consideration is being given to re-assigning me to a "teaching only" position within the department. This decision is apparently based on my so-called failure to produce any "substantive research" for the last 15 years.

This is an astonishing development. Only three months ago I was able to inform Professor Lapping by email from Positano that I currently had two books in the "forthcoming" category, another was already "in press" and four more major texts were "under active consideration by a leading publisher".

Doctor Piercemuller

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