One more university trip: we asked the security guard at the front gate where we might find the mathematics department, and he directed us to an arts and sciences building that seemed promising, particularly since it being spring break means there's no need to worry about parking tags. That wasn't the place. It did lead us to the dean's office, though, and with a little fearlessness I trod into the office and met the secretary and began to introduce myself. (I also noticed the dean's office, proper, was in there and the door was open.) And then --
Some men who were fixing one of the cubicle-style office desks dropped or misplaced something, and the desk surface crashed down on the one beneath the desk. He insisted that he was all right, and that it hit his arm, not his head, and before I quite knew what was going on other people were rushing up to take the folders, notebooks, and really huge potted plant off the desktop, so that he could prop it back up.
The secretary then explained to me that they might or might not be hiring, but what I should do is go to the human resources department and drop my CV off there. I glanced at the Dean, gathered that I wasn't going to see him anyway, thanked all and hoped the guy under the desk would be all right. We went out and found someone else to ask where the mathematics department was, and it was in another building not far off, so we went there.
The hallways split off into a couple different directions, but it turned out any way we followed brought us to the secretaries. I introduced myself and the department secretary was happy to receive me, but didn't know if there were any positions open, and wasn't sure what to do with my CV. So she called the dean's office secretary, and I was advised again to go to human resources, on the far end of campus.
Now, where is human resources? Well, it's tucked away on the far end of campus, past a maze of twisty roads, all alike, with only about half the needed turns marked by signs. The building which looked like it might be the place -- and was -- turned out to be inaccessible if you drove by the roads that seemed to be going to it, but if you drove to the road that seemed to lead to a barrier behind a parking garage, you ended up there. The receptionist at human resources was glad to see me, and took my CV (and even stamped its pages ``received''). And she mentioned that the mathematics department had been hiring, but she didn't know if the position was filled. Interesting tidbit, that ...
Overall, we speculated that the process was designed to lose as many applicants as possible.
Trivia: William Herschel first showed the newly discovered Uranus to another person, William Watson, on 18 March 1781. Source: In Search of Planet Vulcan, Richard Baum, William Sheehan.
Currently Reading: Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 2007. Editor, Gordon van Gelder.