Laurie Taylor

February 8, 2002

A German academic has been illegally working for six years at two universities on two full salaries. He taught finance and accounting at one and thermodynamics at the other - Article in The THES , February 1, 2002.

Good morning.

Good morning. Who is that speaking?

I'm Maureen. Secretary. Department of culture and media studies, University of Poppleton.

Really. Well, I'm also a departmental secretary. Janet. Department of metallurgy. University of Uttoxeter.

Hello, Janet. God, isn't it a dog's life? I sometimes wonder why we bother. I mean, I only took the job all those years ago because my mother thought it would be somehow "nicer" than working in the private sector.

I didn't realise that "nicer" meant a miserable salary, cramped working conditions, an overwhelming workload and a bunch of colleagues who regard a photocopier as the cutting edge of the information revolution. Now, what can I do for you?

Well, we have a reader here in the department who is responsible for our first-year course on diffraction techniques and the study of solids. But he has gone missing. While I was looking through his files for a contact, I came across your phone number.

That will be our Dr Piercemüller.

That's the name. But what makes you think your Dr Piercemüller is our Dr Piercemüller ?

Well, one of the students who filled in an evaluation form on his recent postmodernism lecture complained that he spent an hour talking about theories of metal fatigue.

Good heavens, so where is Dr Piercemüller now?

You might try the University of Leicester.

Leicester?

That's right. Someone rang from there 20 minutes ago looking for their senior lecturer in hotel catering. Just a shot in the dark you understand.

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