Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today I was on a panel to interview four overseas scholarship applicants. Calgary, Shanghai, Bologna, and Paris, at 8:30 am, 11am, 2pm, and 3pm.

First applicant was 45 mins late - he thought the interview was tomorrow, apparently. The 2pm had to be postponed to 3:30pm, and didn't actually get going until 3:50.

So, you know, the perfect excuse to NOT do anything terribly productive (poor me! hahahaah!), given that the day was neatly broken up at just the right places (yeeeesssssh!).

Anyway, in the good old days, before video conferencing and mobile phones and MSNs and webcams, how do you interview overseas applicants? If you can't afford to fly over there to interview them in person, you just have to rely on their written work, or at best a phone interview. Hell that was how I got my job! A CV plus a 5 minute phone interview and that's it!

But now, with all this hi-tech malarkey, people feel compelled to use them. (Is it comparable to having a dick and feeling compelled to masturbate? Discuss.)

1. The guy in Calgary had to make a trip back to uni, and their IT guy had to stay behind to set things up (our 8:30 am is their 6:30 pm)

2. The school that the Shanghai applicant attends wasn't stupid enough to buy any of this IT crap so his dad had to rent a room in a fucking hotel (a fucking HOTEL!) which has video conferencing facilities

3. The arrangements for Paris went okay (but actually having us SEEING him didn't exactly do him any favours)

4. The connection to Bologna took two hours to set up, and at the end we had to resort to the good old fashioned telephone whilst staring at his blurred face on the screen which moved every 10 seconds, with a 5 sec time lag over the phone thrown in.

Anyhouwse, the absurdity of all that aside, it was quite interesting to hear how all four have a painfully romantic vision of what Hong Kong is like. All that nonsense about east meets west, ultramodern metropolis, Asia's bloody "World City", freedom of speech (I nearly sprayed tea all over the 42" LCD monitor when that came up), et cetera. God bless their cotton socks.

Today's experience also got me thinking about what life as a senior university administrator must be like. And I wonder if it might be something that I could enjoy doing or even do well! I was tempted for a split second because I think secretly, I'd quite like a job where I have to wear a smart suit to work everyday.


1 comment:

Eh-choo mui mui. said...

"freedom of speech"! christ! okay, that applicant must be on drugs. you can't give someone a merit-based scholarship based on a stupid statement like that. do they have no general knowledge of the political climate in HK!? and, these are phd candidates, i assume?! sigh.