We were excited to learn that our new colleague held a degree in hospitality management. As well as returning financial order in our group, she offered to bring salads to all our Friday meetings. Just as I was thinking what a boon it was to have the support of such a friendly person, in walked another admin colleague who grumpily dumped a pile of papers in front of me and asked if I would prepare them for one of her meetings. I reluctantly agreed, but I did wonder why it was always this way round. Whenever I asked her for help she always found a reason why my request was no concern of hers.
In the meantime I had to get back to my own work. I’d recently moved offices and there was building work on campus. Confused by these two factors, I got lost trying to find my new room. All the staircases had been removed so the only way down to the lower levels of the building was to abseil the walls using the plumbing pipes for support. I was not the most talented of abseilers and knocked a valve on my clumsy descent from the first to the ground floor.
As I fell from the wall noxious gas poured out of the pipes, as did horrific ghosts of surgery victims, all bleeding profusely. The immediate reaction of all around, including myself, was to throw up. Covered in vomit, the girl on the floor next me asked if I thought that we’d now fail our placement interviews. I was flattered that she thought I was a student too, but my main concern at that point was to pick sick out of my hair. However, there was no escape. As I made a bid to sort out my sticky state a number of staff approached me, all desperate to discuss REF 2014.