Another irritation is the need for a formal probation period for new members of staff. In their wisdom, human resources have deemed that this should be extended from 6 months to 12 months. So I am in the situation where I have someone on a 12 month contract. I will need to have probation interviews and report on progress; upon arrival, then at 3,6 and 9 months. After 9 months I get to make a formal decision on whether they pass the probation period and continue their employment for another 3 months. Incidentally the probation forms need to be signed by me, the staff on probation, a "mentor" who is independent, and the head of department. Technically if I was successful and got a new grant to keep on this member of staff, it would count as a new post and I would have to go through this whole process again! At this point it would be worthwhile to place plastic caps over all my teeth to prevent me grinding them down to stumps during the course of the next year.
While idly perusing the student noticeboards, I read a print out of an email warning female students to be vigilant while on campus. Two female students were assaulted on separate occaisons last year when walking after dark. I then realised that despite many notices (by email and during departmental meetings) about bloody appraisals, waste control, staff training, seminars etc, I had not heard this important news. I asked a colleague about this, and he said that he had gone to the HOD last year. The HOD told him, that any formal announcements about safety had to come from the Health and Safety Department. However my colleague should alert female members of staff informally, which he did. Surprise, surprise Health and Safety never issued the notice. I am now convinced that my HOD was recruited from the Civil Service. Nevermind Elvis, common sense has well and truly left the building!