Willing to Assist Whenever Required

Warning: The following text may distress an egalitarian reader. Feudalists, Australian monarchists and Bond University administrators should be fine.

Bond University with its strongly layered and compartmentalized micro-societies is an interesting sociopathic study ground. When you are interested in post-industrial feudalism, that is.

They have a rich culture of controlled depreciation, so that everyone knows where he stands, and is supposed to remain. Many have tried to break through these glass cubicles, but bounced right back. All glass in Australia is plexiglass, remember?

For instance, if you are a student, or - worse - a tutor, or - even worse - a teaching assistent, then you normally are not entitled to a room with a window. Instead, you are tucked away inconveniently in one of the 2x3 m^2 storerooms. If you are lucky, then you even get an aircon outlet. But be careful what you wish for.

Also the clerical staff at Bond University is distinctly layered. Everyone tries to distinguish himself from others with all sorts of managerial titles. Especially areas with administrative staff - predominantly consisting of women - is living hell. And is kept that way by management for obvious reasons.

At the bottom of the food chain is the Academic Support Assistant. Their responsibilities include

  • distributing mail,
  • ensuring that the Springwater Cooler is operating and filled,
  • ensuring that the tea-bags in the kitchen do not run out, and
  • copying exams for those who are too busy to do it themselves, or have difficulty operating a copy machine in the first place.
  • and, of course, reporting to the in-line manager (this is very important!).

While I probably was supposed to never directly engage with 'these people', I regularily sampled their well-being and recorded their psychological deterioration over time.

Their employment always ended in the famous last words

"This is a shit job."

But then they always sent a nice goodbye email stressing what wonderful opportunities Bond had given them. And how lovely everyone has been. And that they will make a sudden career change to "wood chipping in Indonesia", "studying icelandic scripts" or "real estate".

So Bond never ran out of new meat. This time it is Sue who was announced by management in the usual subtle tone:

Sue is a welcome addition to the Faculty and is ready and willing to assist where and when required.

Sue looks tougher than the others. Counter reset.

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