It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.

Just consider how different the world would be had the great voyagers human history been required to complete UWS ETANs before they set off. Think how many native people would have been spared the horrors of colonisation had the UWS travel department been in charge of managing the journeys of Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, James Cook. Faced with filling out the loathed on-line forms the average explorer would have just said ‘f*** it’ and occupied themselves with domestic affairs.

Here’s a rant from CornerBoy (we love rants) about how we all need time to recover from long flights (especially across several time zones) and how it is just not possible to account for every hour spent while away

I’m writing with two travel gripes. First: to the financial person who decided we don’t need a “recovery day,” stop treating us like we work for a corporation and understand that our kind of work is fundamentally different from what you do. Maybe you could fly for 20 hours, hop off the plane, and sit through one of your allnday business meetings. But that just isn’t realistic for intellectual labor. Whether we’re conducting archival research, attending a conference, or giving a talk, sorry, but we need a recovery day when we’re traveling to places as far afield as Europe or America.   To use a parlance you’ll understand, that is just the cost of “doing business” for Australian universities to maintain their reputation abroad.

 

Secondly, stop expecting that we’ll know where we’ll be down to the hour for each and every day of a trip that is several months away and NOT EVEN yet approved. This used to be a simple (albeit asinine) game we played with you. You’d pretend we must provide a businessman’s rigid itinerary, and we’d pretend that we could. So, for example, we say we plan to meet with some scholar on a Tuesday at 10am months from now, and you say ok. What we actually do is obvious, we agree with that scholar to arrange a mutually convenient time when the trip rolls around.   But now you’ve started demanding “proof,” in the form of email confirmation of meeting times etc. This is not only an overt insult to our integrity as scholars, but it’s also an international embarrassment for UWS, since we then have to go and explain to prominent scholars around the world that they need to play this absurd game as well.

 

I don’t know what if any abuses led you to these 2 absurd policies, but punishing us all for the mistakes of a few is not the way to handle it.

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