Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Good Thing I Got That Doctorate!

A peek behind the curtain, at yesterday’s activities:

- Get call from department chair, saying that the storage room we’re going to use while moving a program from one room to another has miscellaneous stuff in it. He wants to move it out. I get a verbal description of the stuff in question.

- I call the director of facilities, to see if he knows the origin of the stuff. He doesn’t, but suggests I call Security to make sure there’s no fire hazard.

- One does not deal with Security if one does not have to.

- I call the budget director, who doubles as unofficial guru of all things to do with rooms, to see if he knows the origin of the stuff in question.

- He wants a thicker description of the offending items.

- I track down the department chair, who is busily boxing items for moving. He gamely escorts me to the storage room, which is more of a closet. We examine the stuff for about ten minutes, while I take notes. The stuff includes a five-foot-by-four-foot block of white Styrofoam, with a label helpfully saying “large foam.” It also includes a stray piano bench, and some carpet-pad remnants that smell vaguely of death. I ask how long the stuff has been there. The chair assures me that in the several years they’ve used that area, it has always been there.

- Alertly, I wander over to the Music department, on the theory that it’s the likeliest home for a piano bench. They confirm that there was once a reason for a piano bench down there, but they’d like it back. They have no idea about the large foam or the carpet pad remnants.

- I call back the budget director, explaining the large foam, the piano bench, and the carpet pad remnants. He tells me to fill out the requisite work orders to have the piano bench moved to Music, and the foam and pad discarded.

- We also have to fill out disposal forms, with four levels of signatures, for the large foam and the pad remnants, even though they appear on nobody’s inventory.

- Since the Chair of Music is on vacation, we have to wait before having the piano bench transferred.

And that’s why it’s important that deans have faculty experience and earned doctorates.