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3:09pm on Tuesday, 27th June, 2006:

Important Meeting


Today it was the most important meeting of the academic year: the report of the external examiners. All academic staff in the department are required to attend, the only excuses for absence being death (your own) or your being on external examiner duty yourself. The second-most important meeting (the report of the internal examiners) was last week, and I duly managed to miss that one by actually being an external examiner. This was somewhat inconvenient, however, because it meant no formal statements could be made about the results of my courses; it was thus imperative that I went to today's meeting.

The meeting was as 2:15. There was an earlier meeting at 12:30, behind closed doors, where the formal business of the board was concluded, then at 2:15 we got to hear what they thought. I duly turned up 5 minutes early at 2:10, and discovered that actually, no, the meetings were the other way round. I was supposed to have been at the 12:30 meeting; the 2:15 meeting was the formal, closed one.

My absence was noted by all and minuted. My copybook wasn't so much blotted as garroted and its head stuck on a pike.

I wouldn't care, but I've had the 2:15 time on my calendar since about February, and have checked it numerous times since, including last week. The only inkling I had that something was wrong was when I read my email today at 1:15 and saw that "all staff" were supposed to be present at 12:30; I thought it had to be a mistake, although I would have gone to the 12:30 meeting had I read it earlier, just in case.

I am so going to suffer for this...

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).