I was surprised to receive a phone call from VC Woodley on the 18th of August 2011, suggesting I apply for the recently vacated post of Head of Registry, at the University of Weeengland. I was even more surprised to be appointed as Head of Registry, although I was then in a passionate relationship with a member of the appointment’s panel. Neither of us declared this improper behaviour. More important than my passion was the need to earn more money, a need driven by my cupboard. Bow ties and shoes are expensive. VC Woodley set out the remit for my job in a private meeting:
- Devise a computerised admissions system which marginalises staff discretion and maximises recruitment of AAA candidates;
- Cut operating costs by 33% between August 2011 and August 2012;
- Work with Capital Academicians to prepare for the corporate take over of Registry;
- Compete with Cambridge and Oxford in the admissions market.
The last of these demands was mad, but Woodley became incensed when this was pointed out. He threatened to sack me immediately, noting that there were far more attractive candidates. I recall his words: ‘A hose pipe would not have sex with you, never mind employ you! My words are your commands. You will recruit the best students, by whatever means are possible…and I mean any means possible. This is now the purpose of your life, the end you will strive to attain, mindlessly and passionately. Now leave.’
That meeting sealed the fate of Weeengland. I knew then that the end was nigh. My journal entry reads:
I have seized a poisoned chalice. VC Woodley is possessed by the twin spirits of envy and vanity. I am possessed by the twin spirits of desire and bow ties. Disaster awaits. (18/08/2012)
I carried out these commands, a zealot possessed and driven by the determination to receive my bonus, and to buy every bow tie produced by Dunford Wood Handpainted Silk Designs. I am in therapy but I still pay money I do not have for these one-off bow ties. (Do contact me on email@example.com if you have are willing to sell any Churchhills produced by Dunford Wood. These are rare and exquisite inducements to spend compulsively.)
During my first month I informed all Heads of Department that they must recruit students predicted to achieve 3 As. I fired one in three members of staff. I met weekly with Capital Academicians (before any contracts had been either advertised or offered). I invested all of my spare cash in bow ties. I negotiated a £500 bet with a betting shop I cannot name, at odds of 2000-1, that the University of Weeengland would be the first University to be declared bankrupt. This bet lapses on the 30th of September 2013. It is my hope that I will be a millionaire although I am ashamed by my actions.
HE Recruitment Consultant