Thursday, June 14, 2007

The shock of the old

Now firstly, don't get me wrong, my new job is looking like it was definitely the right move - lots to get my teeth into, a friendly team and a bearable commute. But let's just say it hadn't really occurred to me just how different some of the little things would be.

I've worked at a couple of universities before and I knew that things were unlikely to be as shiny, new and well resourced as working for a government funded organisation. However I thought I'd share my observations on the little differences so far.... (so be prepared for pointless bitching):

1. No kichen on our floor. I don't know how many people work on mh floor - it is all little separate offices - but I reckon at least 50. The fridge is in the head of service's PA's office, mugs are washed in the disabled toilet down the hall and water is boiled and tea making equipment stored on a rickety trolley in the corner of my office.

2. No central IT purchasing/renewal. Where I used to work we had a replacement cycle of 3 years (4 at a push), we had access to new technology: smart phones, smart boards, big LCD monitors etc. At my new work if you want a new computer, your office has to buy it, spec it, and install it. I currently have a beige (that says it all) quite early Pentium 4. I just got rid of my middle years Pentium 4 at home. It has at most a 14 inch screen with appauling resolution. I work from home at least 1 day a week and commute about 3 hours a day so... I need a laptop, with docking station and a decent sized monitor on my desk to work at my best. It has been moote but I don't want to push it as even my boss has the same crappy PC as me.

3. Library facilities are at least 20 years out of date. Book selection as far as I can tell is ok but IT resources are non-existent and the lighting and layout are horrible. Worst of all it is half the size of the library of where I did my MA but we have nearly twice as many students.

Yes, I know I'm moaning.... I feel like it god damn it! I probably shouldn't be, after all it looks as though I'm going to be happy here. They are upgrading some of the facilities - new sports centre, new (but rather small) student's union. But no library renewal, no IT upgrades for staff - admin or academic. I work in a fairly prestigious institution, well attended, brings in enough research money, good reputation... but they seem so behind in so many ways. At least they have ducks.


AdventuringJen said...

And ducks make up for so many things...
I managed to semi-kill my pc on the last day of my job last month. It seemed to signal a good time to go. And guarantees the new minister will get a new computer which is very much needed!
Hope it does not detract from the job too much

Lex Ham Rand said...

Don't let the lack of cutting-edge technology mute the excitement of your new endeavor.

Some fresh perspective, like yours, may be just what your new office needs!

Are you reading any good books on the train ride?