Linux Lab (Part I)
- "Hi! I'm the new academic in the IT faculty. Gopal sent me here. He said, you might help me."
Cathy looked up from her paper work.
It was late 2000 and I was standing in Cathy Murray's office. At that time she was responsible for the finances at Bond University. I had thought she would have known Gopal. There were not too many people in the IT faculty, let alone people named Gopal, let alone people named Gopal who happened to be Dean.
- "Uhm, Gopal Gupta, Dean of the IT faculty."
She returned to her paper work.
It took me a couple of nanoseconds to process this. But I was determined to get this Linux lab running ASAP, so I pushed on:
- "He said, that I should ask you to finance 10 machines for a new teaching lab. It will be a dedicated lab for teaching Linux technologies."
She looked at me as if I were from a different planet. Maybe I was and I just felt the common after-effects of the hyper-sleep. I should never have left Proxima Centauri. Damn.
She picked up another envelope from her table.
I do not have any money for this.
Clearly, Gopal had set me up to do the dirty work. When I had asked him 30 minutes earlier about the idea to set up a dedicated Linux lab for the newly developed course in web server development, he was all enthusiastic about it. "Yes, go ahead!" he said. He also immediatedly agreed to give me the unused room on level 6.
And when I had inquired about the necessary machines for the 20 students in the course, he said that he would not have any budget for this. Fair enough, so he had sent me to the source. But the source was dry.
And I was still standing in her office.
I suddenly had the feeling that it was expected from me to bow and regress unobtrusively out of the room. We never do these things on Centauri, so I waited.
Obviously successful. Australians have a built-in desire to avoid conflict. And a genetically built-in reflex to deflect any problems:
Have you spoken to Chris Christoff?
- "No, but I will. Thanks."
Management is all about "enabling", right?
[ to be continued ]