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5:34pm on Tuesday, 30th October, 2018:



Finance Office: If you want to claim expenses for travel, you must use the university's travel agents to book your tickets.
Me: I'll want to travel next month. Last year, I bought the train tickets myself. Is that OK this time?
Finance Office: No, you need to book the tickets through our travel agent.
Me: How do I do that?
Finance Office: Use this web site.
[I try. It won't let me log in.]
Me: It won't let me log in.
Finance Office: Email them at this address.
Me: Hi travel agent people! I need a login please. Here's a link to my university profile.
Travel Agent: Who are you?
Me: Here's a link to my university profile.
Travel Agent: Here's a login.
[It lets me log in but I can't book the right kind of train ticket.]
Me: Sorry, Finance Office, the travel agent can't book the tickets I need.
Finance Office: We need proof of that.
Me: Hi, Travel Agent, can I book this kind of ticket please?
Travel Agent: No. You'll have to buy it yourself.
Me: I now have proof that the travel agent can't book the right kind of ticket.
Finance Office: Contact Central Procurement.
Me: Who?
Finance Office: Use this email address.
Me: Hi, Central Procurement, can I have permission to buy my own rail ticket and claim the money back?
Central Procurement: Yes.
Me: OK, I now have confirmation that I can buy my tickets myself.
Finance Office: You're good to go.

So, after 23 emails and a good two hours of my time, I get to do the same thing I did last year.

The university wonders why people don't have time to do research...

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).