I worked on setting up a guest speaker for my Shakespeare class this spring, in conjunction with some theater classes. The speaker's a director of a play in a Shakespeare Festival in a not so far off place. He asked if we could pay travel, and I said I'd try.
On November 5th, I emailed the department chair, and she said to email this other person in the department who's on the funding committee, so I did, and he said he had a meeting and would check into it then.
Also on November 5th, I emailed the campus funding folks, the folks who fund special programs and such. And never heard back.
And then I got buried in the usual stuff.
And this morning, at 11:30 or so, I heard back from the director of the campus funding folks, who said she'd just found my email, and oops, sorry, but I could try filling out a form, and if I get it filled out and through all the channels by Monday, then the funding folks can vote on it.
You know, administrator, if I didn't answer emails from an advisee or a colleague about some committee responsibility for two months, I'd feel some heat, I bet, if the student complained. But I have no one to complain to, because this person controls the money.
So I started filling out the form, and looked up the stuff, and realized that I'd never heard back from my colleague on the department committee, so emailed him. Then the form locked up, and I lost everything, and had to start over. I did that on a different browser. (We're all supposed to use browser X on campus, but everything works better with browser Y. And if you have a pop up blocker, you're screwed.)
Then I heard back from the department colleague that yes, the department should be able to cover the travel, but he couldn't remember about an honorarium. So I should be really happy. Instead, I'm frustrated and cranky.
So I finished up the form on a different browser, wrote my stupid narrative thingy, and submitted it. Then I emailed the chair to alert her to the form thingy. (It also has to go to a deanling who's now retired, but the form says it HAS to go to him, so I'm probably screwed by that, too.)
If EITHER the administrator OR my colleague had bothered to get back to me, I wouldn't have the rush hassle today.
Lesson: I need to send emails continually to people until I get a response because they can't actually do their jobs without a cattle prod.