Argh! Buying things in a University is unnecessarily difficult. There'sa maze of paperwork, and at least three different statuses for vendors..Preferred vendors (like Dell) have apparently made the university happyin some way (greased palms?), and so ordering things from them takes onlya small amount of paperwork. Known vendors have apparently filled out alot of paperwork themselves, and require a moderate amount of paperwork topurchase from when a preferred vendor sells a similar product, otherwisea smallish amount of paperwork. New vendors require a great deal of paperworkto order from, or they can go through the pain to become a known vendor. Thenthere's a large set of rules for things in different price ranges for the wholeorder and individual units, with things over a largeish price requiringpreferential treatment to companies run by women and minorities, and increasingpaperwork at each stage. Admittedly, I'm still learning this stuff, but I'vespent quite a lot of time with phone calls and visits to our purchasing peopleto figure out how all this works and getting it done. I have a cynical suspicionthat all this is designed to strongly discourage people from buying things..At some point, I'll need to decide when/if I start playing games with thepaperwork, telling little white lies to get things done and save me a lot ofpain.. It seems like everyone does it, to some extent. It still disgusts me..
This isn't something I noticed -- there's an article (since removed) from a newssite I frequent that pointed it out, but the lyrics to that song we all sungin school, "This Land is Your Land", reveal it to actually be a parody, andwe just don't sing the parts of the song that are the twist. Of course, thatin itself is a twist for when we realize it. Here's the lyrics toWoody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land
As I was walking a ribbon of highwayI saw above me an endless skywayI saw below me a golden valleyThis land was made for you and me
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footstepsTo the sparkling sands of her diamond desertsAnd all around me a voice was soundingThis land was made for you and me
The sun comes shining as I was strollingThe wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rollingThe fog was lifting a voice come chantingThis land was made for you and me
As I was walkin' - I saw a sign thereAnd that sign said - no tress passin'But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!Now that side was made for you and me!
In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steepleNear the relief office - I see my peopleAnd some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'If this land's still made for you and me.