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Daily Archives: February 19, 2015

Panda’s Big Graduate Research Adventure: Undercover Staff Member

Recovered from putting the system on trial as a thesis student, undercover Panda Bear, Mr Panda B. Ear, heads back to the Graduate Research School to delve into their stationery drawers.

What is life like as an administrator in GRS?  Is it a basket of kittens or a bag of badgers?

Day One: 8:30am

I slipped behind the GRS Reception Desk like a Jaffa slips through a Manager’s sweaty hands on a hot day.  When I first explained that I was the new temp replacing Katherine on reception for the week, no one was any the wiser.  I was confident and dressed for success.  I was convinced the job would be a doddle.

Things started going downhill when Tina started to get suspicious of my telephone manner.  By 9am I was imagining her eyes boring into my handsome and well-proportioned back.

panda rocks reception desk

Day One: 9:15am

Hmm, not such a doddle after all.  It seems needing a bamboo break is not an acceptable excuse for screaming at a candidate trying to submit a PhD.  Who knew?

Katherine has been recalled from her holiday and they have shunted me into the back office so I don’t “scare” or “bite” the students.

Panda in schols office

Day One: 9:45am

Am beginning to despair of this assignment.  All these guys do is work and it seems they do not take kindly to members of the team using doctoral applications to line a litter box.

I’ve said I’m going out for donuts but I’m actually going for gold.  If there is any dirt to find, I’m convinced it’s in the Dean’s office; I never trust a professor with a double-barrelled name.

Panda and the dean

Day One: 9:57am

Turned out there was nothing to see there.  The Dean caught me wearing her lei and chewing on her favourite pot plant; thank goodness she didn’t see me making anklets out of her paper clips.

She sent me packing and with less than one and half hours of service on the clock, I needed a wee rest.  This was the longest morning of my life.

Panda lies down

If going undercover in the Graduate Research School taught me anything, it’s that those administrators all need a jolly great pay rise and a big hug for doing all that paperwork. Especially the Manager of the School, she’s particularly awesome.  I’d go as far as to say she is magnificent.  Yes, that’s surely the moral of this story.

Panda B. Ear