The New Manager

Arrive “late” – 850am

9-10 am
Managers Meeting. Matching our strategic initiatives with senior managements business plan. Confusion over what is an “action” and what is an “outcome”.

Tell GG and KH to (politely) fuck off when they suggest Ant and I drop everything next Monday and Tuesday and fly to Mildura. (Everyone else had several weeks notice.)

Have a quick conversation with GG around the legalities of fee waivers (we aint doing it) for staff members. He’s a former fees guy, so understands the import of us having regular CSP students in the course that LTU staff take for “free”. It’s free to the staff – but it’s not free. tht’s called fraud, regardless of what our fuckwit School of Education stakeholders say. They have to give us a sponsor form with a WBS on it, and we make the magic happen. If they don’t, well, I don’t give a shit.

1030-11am
Lift and shift stand up meeting.

Start the meeting with us all at one end of the room, and the testers at the other. I stop our meeting, turn to the testers, and ask that their “conversation go somewhere else”. They leave.

Heard the phrase from the vendor, “lifting your database is so different from all other lifts we have done before”. One step closer to panic station.

Major issue is half fixed. Vendor developers believe 50% fixed is the same as 100% fixed. I assure them it is not the same, and that some stakeholders will go into meltdown if it’s not fixed.

Issue of escalating the DB sync failure issue within our organisations senior management. Reluctance to do so by the project manager. I waited long enough, and said nothing long enough, that she got it. She headed upstairs immediately to escalate to JP. She wanted someone to go with her for protection.

11-1115
Chasing HR to get AB’s contract sorted. She screwed up and didn’t accept the initial contract while on her student visa. She wanted to wait for her permanent resident visa to come through. It was delayed, and by the time she eventually got it the offer had expired. HR, being jackasses, refuse to backdate a new contract. AB accepts the situation.

1115-12 noon
Fees team catch-up.

12 – 1230
TG meets with AJ and I to discuss her new workplace arrangement (48/52). Whether this actually allows her to be successful in the role, given her chronic health issues, is anyone’s guess. We complete the HR paperwork. I emphasise that we are doing this to try to bring stability to the situation. Not sure TG gets it.

1230-200pm
Lunch. Delicious but well overdue!

Send threatening email to Finance over their engagement of a debt collection agency (aged student services and amenities fee debt, and research student debt).

Contact Victoria University to find out how they handle it (thank you for the contact, FL). VU have a vastly different approach with their agency.

Review support and governance model for new world after lift and shift project completes, and second phase of project begins.

Review course coding changes emails between GG and SX. Agree that a process change is needed, but also agree with his recoding of the courses.

Approve new system access requests.

Approve new equipment purchases for a staff member.

Organise process improvement champions for new SSA process improvement project.

Was provided with a loan request form on which BN had scribbled a new checkbox – “waive guarantor requirement”. She wants me to sign it – will she never learn.

GF: What’s the story?
BN: She got a personal overdraft earlier this year, went on a shopping spree. She owes three months rent to accommodation services. They will evict her this Friday. She wants the loan to pay for the rent. She’s an A grade student and has been approved for a scholarship.
GF: Why no guarantor?
BN: Too long to organise – they will evict her Friday.
GF: Where’s the guarantee the Uni gets their money back?
BN: …yes, it is a risk. But Scholarships team have assured me she’ll get $3000 in two weeks.
GF: (aware the “scholarships team” is BN’s daughter, TN) Did the student say she is being evicted, or did accommodation services say it?
BN: Well… I…
GF: We give her a $3000 loan, and she goes ahead and blows it, where does that leave us?
BN: Yes, it is a risk. But LB (in Bendigo where the student studies) is sure the student is genuine. And she is going to financial counselling with RA.
GF: She’s getting counselling?
BN: Yes.
GF: So what does RA say about her?
BN: Well. I don’t think she’s met her yet.
GF: Is RA in counselling actually aware of this case?
BN: Well, not as of yet…

Don’t know what BN, LB, and TN were up to. Don’t know if they know this kid or not. But I do know that the kid isn’t getting a loan. Computer says no.

200-230pm
Allied Systems Team weekly catch up. Quick meeting as we keep in constant contact. Only new news is exams will be tested thoroughly during lift and shift project. AJ shows me color pictures of Grumpy Cat he has printed out. One of them says, “I am Gary. I am a twat.” Apparently, I am Student Admin’s Grumpy Cat.

230pm-330pm
Bombard new Deputy Director with questions about testing the new HR system. Apparently, I have to pay for my casuals to test their new HR system (casual employee time sheet submission). That’s some bullshit right there.

330-430
Meet with lift and shift Project Manager. Get some dress rehearsal stuff covered off. Get some resourcing for testing covered off.

She asks how I think things are going, and as I start talking about her “change in rhetoric” she starts turning bright red. I started to panic she was going to cry, which would suck as she is an awesome project manager and a really nice person (and her husband is good at what he does, too).

I warn her off using such phrasing – “this is so different from what we’ve done before” – in front of certain senior stakeholders. She’s smart. She knows.

FL and RS had asked for a copy of the cutover plan. Neither will understand it, but it’s a free world. Those two worry me.

Leave early – 435pm. Woo hoo.