Self-Repairing Air Conditioner invented by Monash University Maintenance Services
I'd like to share a little story that is, in my personal opinion, very typical of how Monash University operates. Enjoy a good laugh!
In January 2009 there was a problem with the air conditioning system in my office. (To remind my overseas readers, January is the middle of summer in Australia and a very hot month. In Melbourne, it can easily get up to over 40°C outside.) A problem with the aircon it just life, things break and get fixed, and it should not be a worry. And in Monash it is not indeed, in a very peculiar way:
On 22 January 2009 I followed the required procedure for such cases and submitted a maintenance request. I wrote, "We are in office X (bldg. Y). In is extremely hot here. Much hotter than in the corridor, and other offices. Sometimes it feels like it is even hotter than outside. It's really hard to be in the office for an extended period of time, let alone concentrate." Here is a printout of my email:
Time passed, I got used to the heat, and eventually, the weather got cooler. I would have never remembered this issue again, if not for receiving a notification that my maintenance request has been attended to. It said there, that the status of the work order has changed from outstanding to completed.... on the 25 of October 2009!!!
(I know you can read some of the blurred text below. The blurring is against email-collecting spam-bots, not against actually interested readers. People should be responsible.)
9 Months! 9 months is what it takes the Monash building maintenance to fix an aircon. October is a fairly cool month in Melbourne, so what probably happened is that a maintenance person came in, measured the temperature, and decided that the problem does not exist any more. Basically, broken building equipment is not a worry after all: given enough time the problem will disappear by itself.
Thank you dear Monash management. Now, I and my academic colleagues are off to spend the rest of the week filling in forms that assert our quality of work. And indeed, we really need to catch up to the quality of management and services. Why research the nature on our planet? In a few billion years it will be burned my the sun anyway!