Friday, October 22, 2004


Cream crackered this week, due to waking early to work on grant, full day at work, then more writing in the evening. Eyesight is going and the bags are under the eyes are getting bigger. Not quite in the Barry Norman league, but getting there.

Anyway for a while, I have been thinking that something has been missing from squalid professional life. Today I realised what it was-academic politics!

Before embarking on my latest rant, however I should introduce the some key characters. First there is the mumbling caledonian (MC Stammer). He is a senior member of the department who is a master of the hidden agenda, spreads poisonous gossip, and has always looked out for number 1. Well enough of his good points. Since we moved into the blue palace, I have seen much less of him and I'm now off the beta blockers.

Yesterday MC told us that his lab space is being refurbished and will be effectively out of action for the next four months. Given his many redeeming features, there was much sympathy among the audience for his predicament. Today he sent over three of his minions (witches of eastwick) to measure up lab space for relocation of his staff. Did I miss something? Aren't you supposed to ask people before you move into their space? He told one of my colleagues that he no alternative but to move his people and equipment next week. Conveniently the HOD is away next week and he is operationally deputy head. I smell a rat. I wasn't the only one, and the day was spent in a series of rather futile discussions with my colleagues. I emailed my HOD to find out the "official" position. It turns out that there wasn't one, and he wants us to sort it out between us like responsible adults. This is improbable given the personalities involved.

I will have a lot to cope with next week, so my plan is one of masterly inactivity!


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