News reaches subtext that when we finally return to campus, we are likely to find our desk phones removed. A news item has very quietly appeared on the LU Answers website:
‘Over summer’, we’re told, ‘the University is modernising the way colleagues make and receive calls. This is due to significant changes in our working practices that have come about as a result of COVID-19 with staff working from home for the foreseeable future, alongside a decrease in the use of desk phones by many colleagues prior to this situation. These changes also help support the university’s finances by reducing the cost of phone systems.’ This process will start before the end of June.
Reportedly the university’s current contract with Cisco, the providers of our desk phones, is coming to an end, and ISS has decided not to renew it. Heads of Department have been informed — rather than consulted — about this. In future, internal calls will be made using Microsoft Teams, while for external calls we will need to use ‘Jabber’, whatever that is. Your desk phone will be removed and your external phone extension number will disappear, unless you can come up with a reason to keep either of these; ‘I want to phone someone’ is unlikely to succeed as a gambit.
But what if, heaven forbid, an external organisation might actually want to pick up the phone and call me? Fear not, because ’emergency and departmental phones will be unaffected.’ Why not just replace the entire network with a single BT payphone in each porters’ lodge, and have done with it?