On and off I've been thinking a bit about Dr. No's criminal intent posting and what types of crime I might commit in given free reign. It turns out that I was wasting my time because Employment U has been thinking about this a LOT. I finally managed to get into the limited training sessions they have for issuing purchasing cards so that I could wield one and not have thousands of dollars of travel expenses sitting on my personal cards. I knew I was in for a treat when the Pcard lady put up her presentation and I caught 1 / 128 on the bottom. 128 slides to tell me how to use a purchasing card? How is that possible?
Let me tell you how. You spend the vast majority of that time telling people how NOT to use the card and the consequences for using the card improperly. It felt like I was in program for criminals being re-integrated back into society. How many ways can you be told not to make personal purchases on your university card? Well, I lost count after 7 or 8, but the message was clear - We assume that you only want this card to find a way to defraud the University. About halfway through I want to stand up and say "Well, if I can't buy precious metals (a specifically pointed out no no, BTW), flower baskets (ditto) or booze, why the fuck would I want one of these things?" and storming out. The only thing that stopped me was the prospect of having to sit through the whole thing again. By the end of the presentation I was expecting to see armed guards at the door to frisk us on the way out.
The moral of the story is that the University can turn anything into a bureaucratic black hole of red tape and paperwork because they need to protect themselves against the hardened criminals they employ. A Pcard is something that is supposed to make my life easier and make doing research involve less paperwork, and yet somehow there is more bullshit involved if I even sign the back of this insidious thing than if I just slog through things the old way.
I would write more but a guy just showed up at my door with a clip board and little cup.