Money? No, but we’ll take a filing cabinet…

Friday 23rd April 2010

Well, what can I say? The last couple of weeks have been ever busier and more full of excitement, so I figured I’d better write it all down again!

Let’s see, S and D went on a well-earned holiday last week, and so I found myself doing some new and very interesting things! I promised S that I would supervise the HR team and sign off on anything important in her absence, and I also gave a couple of lectures to the MBA class to cover D while he’s away. The lectures were a lot of fun – I gave them a crash course in CSR, and it also means I get to keep my “Assistant Professor” job title! Hee hee! I feel like such a fraud…

As for HR, that was a bit more tricky, but luckily the girls in the office are extremely competent! Within about 2 hours of S leaving, her assistant came to see me with a small problem. H, my flatmate, needs to extend her visa, as it was about to run out.
In order to do that, she needed a letter from the police to state that she is currently registered and they have extended her registration etc.

When she went to the Police station last week, they said it was absolutely fine and she could have her letter, but before they would help us with any future foreign faculty problems, the university would need to buy them two large filing cabinets (they specified the make and models they would like) and pay to fix their photocopier!
Obviously we will need their help in the future – we already have a problem with one staff member’s tax because he forgot to put his middle name on his police registration form and now it doesn’t match his passport.

So that is how I found myself, after two hours as acting Head of HR, wondering the best way to ask the Vice-Chancellor whether or not he thought we ought to bribe the police with some filing cabinets!

Thankfully, H already had her letter, so she was dispatched to the visa office with that (and it will hopefully get sorted out before her visa actually runs out, otherwise we’ll have a whole new problem on our hands!). The VC, when I asked him for some advice, just chuckled and told me to give it to our head of security to handle (I later discovered the head of security used to be in the police force, so he obviously knows the drill!). So whatever happens next it has nothing to do with me (thank god!).

Let’s see, what else? The usual drama at work – my boss is as useless as ever. After the big fight I had with her a while ago, her only job on the healthcare front was to call the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital to confirm that we can have the vaccines for our free vaccination programme. It’s been 4 weeks now, and she still has not made that bloody phone call! I ask her about twice a week if she’s done it yet, and she usually says “Oh that’s right, I had forgotten” or else “Oh no I’ve been far too busy” (although I have yet to figure out what she’s busy with, as she really doesn’t seem to be doing an awful lot of anything!).

I’m struggling to find new and different ways to ask her without being condescending. I do occasionally wonder if she has in fact called already, and been told no we can’t have the vaccines, but doesn’t want to lose face by telling me that. I did mention to her several weeks ago that if that happened, we could contact WHO and ask them to help out, but she patted me patronisingly on the back, and told me (for the millionth time) that that isn’t how we do things in India, and that her husband knows someone who knows someone who can sort it all out for us!

She also rang me up first thing this morning to yell at me for something utterly ridiculous, which seemed a bit unfair. We are about to sign the MOUs with the NGOs for the student internship programme which I have been working on for two months now. I have had countless meetings in Delhi and have finally set up the last of our meetings for this coming Monday to sign the papers and make everything official. I gave A the MOU I drafted two weeks ago to look over (she never reads anything I send her, and then complains that I never tell her what’s going on!). She mentioned to me YESTERDAY that actually the VC had to approve it before we can sign anything, so I said she’d better bloody hurry up and get his approval. He sent it back saying that legal had to look it over, and when I went to see the legal guy, he had BUTCHERED it!

I mean, I get that he felt the need to add some legal jargon into what was a fairly straightforward Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). However he clearly had nothing to do, and felt he had to leave his mark, so he re-wrote everything I had written, so that it said EXACTLY the same thing, but in appallingly bad English! I went through it and told him I’d need to correct it, as I would be far too embarrassed to take his version to these big international organisations. He then got on his high horse about how I didn’t understand legal terminology, to which I replied “maybe not, but it still has to be comprehensible in English”! Seriously, the guy had actually made up words in some places, and had just shoved words like “heretofor” “thereafter” “party of the first part” and “witnesseth” into every single sentence!

Anyhoo, I made the changes, he agreed to finish it up by this morning, and it was all fine, except that A got her knickers in a twist about it all, cos I had made changes without informing her! I pointed out that the legal guy had made LOADS of changes without informing her, I was merely correcting HIS changes, but she wasn’t in the mood to listen to me.

Suffice to say it has not been the easiest morning, and frankly it has put me in a bit of a foul mood for the rest of the day!

However, thankfully it’s Friday, I have a nice weekend in Delhi planned, and after the meetings on Monday I am taking 2 days off to see a friend of mine who is passing through Delhi, so hopefully next week will be far more relaxing (yeah right!).

Also, I had my credit and debit cards stolen last weekend, but thankfully I didn’t lose any money, and I cancelled them immediately so no harm done there.

Hope you’re all well, and having a far less frustrating Friday!

tons of love
No you can’t say that “this MOU is make 22 April heretofor hence witnesseth that the party of the first party and the party of the second part are have understanding notwithstanding the party of the first part hereafter known as the xxx University…”

Grrrrr…. Maya

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