Monday, January 24, 2011

"Sorry sir you can't go through the barrier without a pass."
"I'm a new member of staff and they are going to give me my pass at the new staff induction that is starting in about 20 minutes"
" No pass No access sir"
" All these other cars?"
"Yes sir they don't have passes either."
"Let me guess, they are all going to the new staff induction?"
" Yes sir."
" Ok how do I get a pass to go to the induction?"
"You get them...."
" at the new staff induction by any chance?"
" Yes sir, have you worked here before sir?"
"No, just a wild guess"
" yes sir"
" So in order to get to the new staff induction to get a pass, I need the pass that I will get at the new staff induction. Just checking I have this right"
" Yes sir , that's right sir, that's they system sir."
" system implies... Oh never mind. Are you on your own out here?"
"Are you threatening me sir? "
"not yet"
" Have you got to stay here?"
" Yes sir until relieved sir"
" So hypothetically speaking if someone was to just drive through you would have to stay here?"
" er yes sir, I suppose so. It has never happened sir. No one just drives through, I mean, Sir? Sir? SIR!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Minutes of Meeting...

Professor John xxxxxx Head of the School of Deportment requested that Dr. Platothefish explain why his nameplate read 'Head of Centre of Excellence for Political Decision Making' when there no such centre existed.

Dr. P replied he thought nameplate creativity was a custom as he had noticed one saying Head of Financial Responsibility and Strategy.

Dr. P was asked to remove the nameplate.
Hmmm apparently neglect and withholding beer doesn't kill a blog.

Monday, December 22, 2008

To: All Staff
From: Professor xxxxxxxxxxx Deputy VC

Subject: Christmas Annual Leave

A large number of emails have been directed at the HR office today from staff accusing them of being Scrooge and worse.

I have investigated the certificates found in the five eggs discovered yesterday. It would appear that the eggs and certificates have gone to people who have had a difficult year, including two members of staff who were bereaved earlier this year, one who has been diagnosed with cancer and two other personal circumstances I will not go into here. As a result the certificates will be honored. Please stop sending emails to HR they were just carrying out procedures.

Deputy VC
To: All Staff

Please note. I have checked with the VC's office. The certificates for extended holidays being found in the eggs are not real. They did not come form the VC and therefore will not be honored.

HR Directorate
To: All staff

Just on my way. Anyone want to come?

George xxxxxxxxxx
Senior Lecturer
To: All staff

How the blazes did that get there it must be 20 foot high? Has anyone been up to it?

To: All staff

OMG I have found the egg guys. Just look on the Rugby field!

To: All staff

Two more eggs have turned up, one in the office of the catering manager and one in building 244's cleaning cupboard. The cleaner dropped hers and found a certificate from the VC saying that the bearer of the certificate is entitled to two extra days off this Christmas, inside. It might be worth the other people checking their eggs. One more egg to go...

Bella xxxxxx
Admin Assistant

Saturday, December 20, 2008

by email -
To all staff:
From Dr. xxxxxx xxxxx

I think I found a clue. I have just found a large egg on my desk.

Dr. xxxxxx xxxxx

From Prof. xxxxxxxx

Me too

From xxxxxxx xxx

And me - three more to go.
What do you know about all this 12 days of Christmas stuff going on? The entire staff are hunting for the next thing - 6 Geese? Do you know where they will turn up? Is this you?

Dear xxxxxx,
What and spoil the magic of Christmas?

As you will have noticed a very large set of neon Olympic rings has been installed on the front of the main university building. They have been there for about a week. Everyone assumed it had some official purpose but on investigation none of the departments know anything about it. before we remove the said item can you all just check if they were placed there for an official purpose. It's just that the plug for the rings is trailed through the window of the HR directors office and the window won't shut properly.

1 hour later - reference the 5 gold rings - it would appear that we have been the victim of a continuing prank. If anyone has any information where these rings have come from please inform HR or the security service.
Hey Plato I thought you would like to know about this one. Grumpy old Professor xxxxxxxxx from the School Sexual Heath apparently had a stretched limo arrive for him a couple of days ago. It wasn't in his diary but you know what his memory is like so he got in thinking he had forgotten some important meeting.
It would appear when he got into the car there were four call girls waiting for him. The Limo drove off.
He arrived back about an hour later with a very big smile on his face and has since been heard whistling! Any ideas?

Plato: Four call girls you say?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Deputy V.C. heard noises coming from his filing cabinet earlier today. On investigation three chickens were discovered in the bottom three drawers. Someone must have seen someone entering the office. If you saw anything suspicious earlier today near the VC's office block please let the USS know ASAP before this goes any further.
Some how whilst the University Security Service guard was in the HR office preventing breakins last night 2 doves were placed in the USS control room. If anyone has any knowledge of this please come forward.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Email to all staff:
To whoever put the partridge and pear tree in the HR office. These offices will be patrolled on the lead up to Christmas by the USS to prevent any further break ins.
"Oh no - please no"
"Yes how did you know that the bowl of fruit was a bowl of pears?"
It would appear the the pheasant was a partridge and a small tree had been found planted on the directors desk with a bowl of fruit. We are puzzled. If anyone can help please contact the USS.
All HR services are suspended this morning. A live pheasant was discovered running around the HR offices when they were opened up this morning, which could explain why the burglar alarm kept going off last night. The University Security Services are trying to capture the bird at the moment. If anyone knows how the bird came to be in our offices please do let us know.

Barbara xxxxxxxx
HR assistant

Monday, December 08, 2008

Postcards pleading for help have been received from Clifton over the last month from London, Edinburgh, Oxford, New York, Riyadh, Hong Kong and Cape Town. Do you know anyone who has visited these places over the last month? No further ransom notes have been received. A reward is now offered for the return of the bear.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A note has been found sellotaped to a bit of fur in the HR office photocopier. The note says "Pay the ransom or the bear gets it. Further instructions to follow."

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Clifton (the missing teddy) or who might be responsible please notify the security office who have been notified and have launched an investigation. Jake Xxxxxx of the University Security Services who happens to be a retired detective has been put in charge of the investigation.

This is not the behaviour we expect of staff or students. The return of the property forthwith would be appreciated.

Jean xxxxxxxxx
Director of HR
HR Directorate

Sunday, November 02, 2008

For your information a number of people have emailed the HR office about the disappearance of the Teddy Bear from the office of the Director of HR.
The bear answers to the name of 'Clifton'.
If anyone one has any further information about this incident please contact either HR or Security.
A strange break-in occurred over the weekend in the HR office. As you may know the Director of HR has a small collection of Teddy bears in her office. These are personal items, some with sentimental value. On her arrival at work yesterday the largest bear had disappeared and the remaining teddies were found scattered around the office apparently looking inside draws and bins.
If anyone knows the whereabouts of the missing bear please contact the HR office.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Plato please tell me it wasn't you that started this rubbish:

I had a whole raft of paperwork, and I means volumes, delivered from HR this morning who are seriously investigating a suggestion that the University are not compliant to the diversity / equal opportunities legislation. It took me about an hour to understand what the hell all this paperwork was for. It appears that 'someone' has suggested that many of our doorways, ceilings, desks, chairs and other furniture are, and I quote, 'heightist' and therefore racist. Pygmies and Maassi are used as examples of sections of humanity disadvantaged by the dimentions of our buildings etc.
I and all the other heads of department have been asked to measure the height of all the rooms, doors and all other equipment to see if we are indeed not as inclusive as we claim.

I have a horrible feeling I have just worked out why you have been walking around on stilts.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Plato, why have you started walking around the university on stilts?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear Plato. Your latest research proposal about suitable sites for radioactive waste from nuclear power stations has (unsurprisingly) bounced back from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. They considered chopping up the waste into 'teeny weeny bits' and 'dropping' a 'little bit' into each households dustbin, 'interesting' but unscientific and lacking in merit. There is a handwritten note attached to the back by someone in the NDA, however, which states 'I wish I'd thought of this!'

I trust you do realise that funding is based on successful bids not the number of bids. Just a thought!

Prof. xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx
Head of Research Development

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hi Plato,
I thought that you might like to know. I just walked past the statue of Queen Victoria that sits over the main gate of Queens - she is dressed in one of your super hero uniforms.


Hi Neil,
I think that your presumption of ownership may need further investigation.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ok now I have seen everything. End of the year and you get the VC dressed in her action hero uniform, complete with mask to 'fall out' your ranks of super hero students and wish them well. Great parade, very amusing. I didn't think I would say this but I and a lot of other people will miss their antics.
I hear that your course for next year is already over subscribed and we haven't even opened selection. Well done.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Whilst this may not be the most technologically advanced institution in the world, and whilst I also agree that some of our more 'established' professorial staff could do with 'getting with it' in the IT department, and that banning weblogs might not be entirely a great idea, I don't think that describing the university's technology committee as 'having the technological insight of a glaciated woolly mammoth' is entirely accurate.

The comment about the committee having a Darlek's perspective on freedom of speech went a little over their heads as did repeating "exterminate exterminate" as you left the meeting.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"I don't think that during a public inter-university debate, when the VC disagrees passionately with the opposing VC about the aims of education, claping your hands slowly and shouting "Fight Fight", is quite the done thing."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dear xxxxxx
You know that student I failed as the second assessor for plagiarism who then appealed and is threatening to take the university to court? She is claiming that we refused to mark her real dissertation after she had accidentally submitted the wrong work, even though it had somehow got her name on it and a signed plagiarism statement.

Well you know the supporting evidence she provided and the real dissertation she has now submitted?

Guess what? I did a little search and I have just found the same dissertation (word for word) bound in the library from a student who was awarded his MS.c 1998.

Just thought that you would like to know. I have the original in my office should you wish to see it. Oddly the library system showed that she 'borrowed' the document just last week.

Plato of the yard

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"I wouldn't want to accuse you of cheating but it could be seen as suspicious the fact that over 70% of your students have been given first class honours marks for your course."

"Firstly they weren't given the marks. They earned them. Secondly unlike many other courses I have concentrated on developing critical thinking and argument not just stuffed them full of facts. If you would like to interview any of my students you are welcome. Additionally as you can see from the external examiners report 'this methodology has produced stunning results.' I wouldn't want you to accuse me of cheating either.
If I had been cheating getting only 70% of my students 1st class marks would mean the cheating wasn't very successful would it?"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I am sure that those anticipating becoming a perpetrator in Oxford must be quaking in their boots, on the assumption of course that their linguistic capability matches that of  the Dean of New College.   

Monday, May 12, 2008

Plato please don't tell anyone but I was on the campus late last night finishing a paper. There was a light on in the VC's office. When I looked she was standing in her office dressed in the superhero's uniform your student's gave her, holding her stomach in and puffing her chest out in front of the mirror in her office!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Someone has parked / left an old yellow digger, bulldozer, road roller and a very large road surfacing machine right outside of the front doors of the Department of Plant Sciences with a banner saying "A small donation to your research". Has anyone any idea who they belong to as we are keen that they collect them. As you may realise this department deals with a different type of plant.   

Sunday, May 04, 2008

See this blog entry

Restricted Minutes
University Board Meeting - April 2008

Agenda Item

Prof. Dumbledaw reported that the report on the use of weblogs by university staff and students would be delayed. He reported that it had been brought to his attention just before this meeting by a member of staff that there may be some legal and ethical issues involved in restricting members of staff and students right to free speech. Prof. Dumbledaw will look into this issue before making an official report.

He also added that evidence has been brought to his attention that the restricted nature of these minutes may not mean that they are totally confidential to the university. Somehow the details of these minutes had found their way onto the internet. An investigation was underway to discover how this was happening. As a result the current minutes are somewhat truncated.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dear plato,
The VC has become a bit of a hero with the students for wearing the suit they made for her. She is being greeted by students all over now where most didn't know who she was before. Although she is a bit uncertain as to how they got her measurements so correct, she is very pleased and you are flavour of the the month at the moment. She keeps using you as an example of good practice in teaching. Please don't do anything to bugger it up plato. Please.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tell me I am dreaming? Did I see the VC go to your lecture dressed as one of your super hero's? Are you for real? What was going on?


Er Plato is this true that you got the Vice Chancellor to wear one of your suits, masks and capes? You are my hero.

You are mad! How the hell did you get the V.C. to wear that super hero suit???

Plato. They should make a statue of you. This is just too much! The V.C. in a mask and cape at your lecture? Hilarious. You are a legend.

Everyone is talking about what you did to the V.C. Amazing. You star.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

RE: Head of Major Gifts
Plato your application for the role of Head of Major Gifts has been rejected. I suspect an application that simply reads

"Please give me the Head of Major Gifts Job as I could be my own first customer"

was always doomed to failure.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My suspicions have been confirmed. I suspected that your NASA proposal wasn't the only one. As you might expect your request for $40 million from the Pentagon has been rejected. They don't appear to need research that investigates how many Marines kept their teddy bears beyond the age of 15 and whether, to quote 'teddy bear ownership increases a Marines chances of promotion'.
Plato, was it necessary, that when Prince Charles visited the University and asked you what the Ambiguity Institute was about, to say

"If I knew that they wouldn't let me be the Director."
Then asking him "Would you mind awfully, informally and in keeping with the nature of the institute, declaring it both open and closed at the same time please. I promise we will put a non-plaque up in honour of your visit" didn't really help to clarify the situation either.

I have funny feeling you haven't heard the last of this encounter.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dear Plato,
Please come and see me. HR have forwarded me the below risk assessment that you have submitted. They are concerned that your experiment might be and I quote "prejudicial to the fabric of the university", by which I think that they mean that they are worried that you will destroy it.

Risk Assessment

Name: Platothefish
Dept: Ambiguity and vagueness
Date: 01/04/08
Event: Experiment with home made particle accelerator and collider
Location or site: Lecture room B
Nature of Risk: Opening up a black hole during the experiment thereby destroying earth, oh and the solar system.
Who is affected?: Just the population of the planet
What has been done to minimise the risk?: I will keep the accelerator in a Tesco's plastic carrier bag.
Is a first aid trained member of staff available?: Will third aid do?
Is a fire marshal available?: No but the sheriff is in town
Has someone from HR H&S executive examined the risk: Not yet, but please do visit. If this goes wrong you will have approx .000000007 sec head start on the rest of the population.
Does the university insurance policy cover this event?: I'd like to see the policy small print.
Is travel involved? If so by what medium? Travel could well be involved, the medium being in particles and waves - I might need separation allowance for this one though.
Is your direct manager aware of this event and has he/she approved of the event?: I tried to tell him but he didn't believe me.
Have you received approved training for this event?
I suppose because we are all made of stars the answer must be yes
Equipment being used: Particle accelerator / collider. Well actually it is two very large and powerful electrocatapults and a laser.
Aim of the event: To create an atomic vortex fast enough to create a blackhole, hopefully only momentarily. However as this hasn't been attempted before and I wanted to do it before CERN came on line, I can't guarantee that the effect might not last a little longer than expected nor grow faster than I will be able to react. If this does happen there is nothing to worry about. Literally there will be nothing to worry about - ever.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Will whoever keeps turning off the heating to the Global Warming Studies Group offices please desist. It is not funny - it takes about 4 hours to restart the heating every time which makes it usually too cold to work in the offices in the mornings.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dear Plato,
Thank you for agreeing to run the debating chamber and resurrect the university debating society. The idea of having a university wide debate over a period of weeks both in the chamber and online is inspired and is welcomed by the board. I know that the advertising for this series of events was agreed by the board and the head of marketing, as well as the Vice-chancellor's office, however in retrospect, having seen your posters and online advertisements we would like you to remove the title and replace it with something a little more appropriate to the standing of this institution.

xxxxxxxxx Director of Academia

You are mad, I can't believe that you are getting away with this. There are 1000's of posters around the place with big bold headings saying "Mass Debate". I nearly choked when I saw them.


Hi Plato,
Your 'Mass Debate' posters have become collectors items! Very funny.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thankyou for the report on the leadership of the school I asked for. It is very useful and thought provoking - excellent work, we clearly have some work to do. Just a minor issue - there is a consistent spelling error througout the report - you keep referring to the 'bored' meetings as opposed to the board meetings. Can you correct this please and then I will submit it.

Reply - it's not an error.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Plato please remove the blue light from the top of your car and the signs on it that says 'University Ambigulance' and 'Emergency Responsibility Vehicle'

Thank you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The student's union and the lecturer's union have petitioned the university to complain about the proposed 'Oath of Loyalty Scheme'. It has also appeared on several department minutes for discussion at their next meetings. Please note that this is not an official scheme. Could all staff be aware and please inform their students that no such proposal exists at this university at this time.

See this news item ...

To: All Staff
From: Central Administration
Subject: Oath of allegiance.

In line with the Decree of Lord Goldsmith and Her Britannic Majesty's Government, as of the beginning of April all students and staff will be required to take an oath of allegiance to the university and the country. Special 'Oathing Ceremonies' will take place over a two week period at the start of next month. The proposed wording of the oath is as follows:

I (name of student or member of staff) do hereby swear that I will uphold the aims and objectives of the university without fear or favour. That I will, at all times support Her Majesty, the Vice-Chancellor and each decision made thereby. Additionally I swear that I will not question or importune Her Majesty or any senior member of the university nor engage in activities that cause any of the aforesaid superior members of our congregation any discomfort whatsoever.
Further I affirm that my loyalty will extend to all external activities and will illuminate the university's leadership only in the highest and most esteemed manner. I will also contribute financially, when necessary, to the university's upkeep and maintenance and keep the board in the manner to which it would like to become accustomed. Notwithstanding any of the aforementioned I will also be loyal to Her Majesty The Queen and stand between her and any of Her Majesty's, (the first Her Majesty) enemies.
I swear that I will also file all risk assessment forms as required without negative comment or criticism.


(Full name)

Please ensure that everyone is aware of the wording and is fluent before the university wide written exams at the end of March, just prior to the ceremonies.

xxxxxxxxxx Head of Administration

Friday, March 21, 2008

"Oh Hi Plato. While you are here I have a message from the VC. She will come to your first lecture after Easter to thank you and your students for their help with the pensioners lunch club. Between you and me she is a little suspicious about how the whole lunch club thing started and who placed the advert....

(Long silent pause)

Oh er, um, she would like to know if she has to wear the present the student's gave her when she comes to thank them? "

Oh I would think that it would be entirely appropriate.

"I'll tell her. I think that she is more than a little nervous but doesn't want to appear not to be a good sport, especially in front of your students....


She has asked why she is saying thank you to over 120 students when you officially only have 34. Where did the rest come from?"

I don't know they just started to materialise

"Oh OK"

Tell her I look froward to seeing her in two weeks time in Lecture room B. It is a little packed in there at the moment but it will do her good to see. I am particularly looking forward to seeing her wearing her 'present'. The students put a lot of effort into it - you might like to mention that.

"Oh OK"

Have a good easter.

"Er yes thanks..."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"The V.C. would like to thank you and your students for their help and assistance on Saturday. Without you we would not have been able to serve the 117 pensioners that turned up. There have been many appreciative comments about the conduct of your 'super heroes' and their antics provided much entertainment."

That's nice - when would she like to do it?


When would the VC like to do it?

"Do what?"

Thank us

"She has"

I thought you say that she would like to thank us

"She would"

Great, when should I tell my class that she will come and thank them?

"I don't think that she meant..."

I think that she should - next month's Free Lunch Club might be even bigger or even involve some extras.


I'll leave it with you, please give her a map to the lecture rooms for me and a copy of our schedule. We will look forward to the thank you. Oh and the class have asked me to give this to the V.C. could you please pass it on.

"Um... what's in the bag?"

I have no idea

"Oh ... er oh dear"