For the record, a resume of my efforts to set up a workshop at my not-so-endearingly shambolic institution.

Line manager has spent a couple of years recovering from last time he tried to set up an event.

I start off by calling our Conference bloke, who is young, slightly over-confident-sounding, and difficult to get hold of. Naturally, my request for free room is irregular. I want this for free because although it’s external (associated with a JISC research project) it’s free to register. I also want an accessible room (i.e. ground floor in because although the building in question has three floors, they’re all on different levels) with data projection. And moveable tables which don’t jiggle, not hostess chairs. And to be able to eat in there. And a flipchart.

Then I promoted the conference (parallel to the researcher) on our VLE, and through discussion groups (but not with the posters she sent, because I decided they would mystify people here). Then I recruited students, some of whom behaved very immaturely about it. Then I confirmed the students, and sent details to the researcher.I had to book the room through central room bookings – and we couldn’t have lunch in the room and had to go elsewhere. I had to curry favour with the porters about the tables – this was nervewracking and I feel lucky to have succeeded with the negotiations. I had to talk with Scolarest about the catering, which involved trying to figure out the best way of billing it to avoid VAT (i.e. internally, and the researcher reimburses my department). And I had to talk with Conferences about getting a flipchart. I’m scared stiff the data projector won’t work, or that the tables won’t arrive, or the chairs or the flip chart easel. Then we had to a late notice move lunch to the senior common room, to make way for the Warden’s meeting (the SCR is not accessible so if anybody can’t climb stairs they’re snookered – I referred Scolarest to the researcher to find out if anybody did in fact have mobility problems). When I called Scolarest today to ask for water in the room all day, they told me that lunch was down for 3.30. But that was just a mistake. And the Student Union person who was supposed to find 2 extra students didn’t.

This is my testimony: it’s been a right hassle.


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