So today is paperwork day.
9:00 AM I get to the institute, ready to fix some bugs I have been thinking about
9:20 AM As I am halfway through my (first) morning coffee, the Academic Secretary calls me - I am invited to a seminar on a specific International Relations Negotiations Toolkit (??!!) - I talk her out of sending me there, as it falls completely outside my scope. I will, of course, talk with the organizers to find out about its technical requirements, licensing, etc.
9:35 AM Ok, I’m down here… Lets go ask what has happened to my request regarding the travel to Debconf5 - To the Director’s office. His secretary kindly tells me I should have directed the request I handed him (exactly one month ago) to him and to the Internal Council.
9:50 AM Back to my office. Read some mail, breathe deeply.
10:30 AM Go to my boss to talk about the subject, to ask him for his opinion on how should I manage requests to go to conferences (as I have right now on my desk invitations to go to three conferences and am waiting for two more). He tells me everything (even a 1-day pop at a neighbouring town) needs to be approved by the Internal Council. Of course, if something is important for me to attend, I should not just ask for the approval, but include a complete justification for it before it is requested from me.
10:50 AM Find the request you sent to the Director. Modify the date, the recipients (it should be addressed to the Director, the Internal Council and my boss, and I should print an extra copy for my record), and some details in the text. Find the invitation (thanks, Aschwin!), get four copies of it.
11:30 AM I start writing my justification - It covers basically: <ul><li>What is Debian</li><li>My role inside Debian</li><li>Debconf as an academico conference</li><li>Debian’s relevance to the Institute</li></ul>
12:15 PM Go print the four copies. Staple them. Sign them. Give one to the boss, he says it looks OK. Great! Go to the Director’s office… Whoops! Rocío tells me I should not ask for permission and air travel expenses. I should ask for an licencia académica con goce de sueldo (roughly: An academic paid leave), quoting the Academic Personnel Statute. She does not remember which article from the Statute I should quote, so she sends me over to one of the areas of the Academic Secretary.
12:35 PM …The person at that area tells me I need to have two years working in the University to get this paid leave.
- But I have worked before at the University, for four years, only at another campus!
- Well, yes, but you were not a purely academic worker, you had an administrative position, and I think that does not count
- Ok, what can I do? Even if I have to ask for an unpaid leave, this conference is quite important for me!
- Ok, I’ll check the legislation and will come back to you by tomorrow 13:00 PM Back at my office. Angry, hoping to be somehow lucky, hoping for the best… Looking at my invitations to Poza Rica, Bogotá, hoping to have something soon related to Chile, Puebla… Amnesiac insists on me attending Puerto Vallarta, which I really want to… But I am frustrated by this. I have worked at UNAM, yes. I knew this University is too large for its own good, and that bureaucracy rules here. It is, however, by far the best University in my country, and the only place I really want to work in… But losing a full fscking day just to have the real fear of bureaucracy standing between me and my academic work just is a fscking PITA :-( Anyway… In the worst possible scenario, I will pay for my own air ticket, and will take a couple of days off on an unpaid leave - But I will see your ugly faces at Debconf5. And no matter what, I will host you in .mx for Debconf6. update: I think I have to write a thank you note here… Thanks to the Almighty Jergas and the great break from bureaucracy he gave me while working at UPN. Some things are better here in the productive and strictly regulated Real World(tm), but the rules at La Peda were much simpler, and so was life itself.
Mauricio 2005-04-18 13:20:18
95th article, B section of EPA. Yes, I’ve been there before… ;)