Thursday 20 August 2020

Available for rent

. . . slightly less than 4 sq.m. of office space with a desk and a ratty old office chair; desk missing one drawer-handle. Four drawer filing cabinet available by negotiation with the other 2-and-2-halves people who share the office. Last Friday, I dropped my severance papers in to HR at The Institute, so that my pension would kick in when I leave on Friday 2nd October 2020. That's now 6 weeks away. While I was with HR, I asked how they were progressing with sourcing my replacement: the job was advertised at the end of May. The race is not to the swift, it seems.

In a parallel universe, we had a General Election on 8th February 2020. The indistinguishable and undistinguished centre right parties Fianna Fáil FF and Fine Gael FG took a drubbing from the electorate who returned a land-slide for Sinn Féin SF, the Greens. The usual rattle-bag of independents, fixers and local mafiosi held their own. With hind-sight, The Lads of Leinster House could/should have looked at the numbers [a short quarter each for SF FF FG and the rest independents / mavericks] and realised that two of the three biggest parties had to go into coalition with each other. It took 140 days [that's 20 weeks!] of shape-throwing, blow-harding and over-my-dead-bodying for the TDs involved to accept this reality and elect a new Taoiseach. Winner: Micháel Martin FF 27 June 2020. Who could then go on to open the sweetie-jar and appoint ministers. 

In parallel parallel universe, at the end of May, my pal Kevin [multiprev] was sculpting a Letter to all the Incomming TDs. "we the undersigned believe Ireland needs to establish a dedicated cabinet-level Department for Higher Education & Research" It garnered 1700 sigs in short order, including many from the Inst.Tech. sector, so it was better steered than the previous Open Letter about Science Funding. Well "we" alllmost got our wishes on the Minister when Simon "I'm Fourteen but Keen" Harris was rewarded for steering SS Covid-Response with landing "Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science" FAHERIS? 

That empire needs to be hived off from existing Ministry of Education, premises need to be identified, desks of sufficient size and hardwoodness need to be ordered and installed, painting and decorating must be carried out. Then occupiers of those new desks need to be shifted, they need to find out where the jacksy is and how the coffee-machine works . . . and . . . then . . . they can approve the appointment of new members to The Institute's Board of Governance. Until that is done the candidates for occupying "My" desk cannot be interviewed because one member of the BofG must be on every interview panel. I know personally six of those applicants, all young enthusiasts for science, whose have been in limbo since the beginning of June - waiting for the call. It's really not good enough. 

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