16.04.2006 10:57 - On Organisation
In the UK, at Universities, it is often common for new students to have a special week to ease them into student life - a "Fresher's week". The Polytechnic I went to was no exception. The problem with Fresher's week was that it usually required some form of organisation, and, unfortunately, the students who had ascended to high office in the Student's Union were from courses not noted for their organisational abilities.
Bear that in mind, then, as I unveil the terrible series of cockups that came to be known as the "Burton Trip".
Someone in the Student Union at Staffordshire Polytechnic (as it then was) had a brilliant idea for Freshers week. It involved a trip to the nearby town of Burton, well-known as a centre of excellence for brewing. Burton was famous for its Beer museum, where a visitor would be guided through the history of brewing, the modern technology used to brew, and at the end, enjoy cut-price examples of the many and varied brews that the brewery was responsible for. It was a sort of Cadbury's but with added liver cirrhosis. (Cadbury's chocolate museum will be featured in a later story, if I don't recieve a large sum of money from either "Vivienne" or "Steffi")
The trip was advertised, and, come the day (Wednesday), a large body of freshers stood outside waiting excitedly for the bus, all boasting excitedly about beer-related escapades in their past.
Someone had forgotten that bus-trips to breweries entail the booking of a bus, plus driver.
Never mind, the Student Union had its own fleet of minibusses, which could be booked by Student Clubs.
Unfortunately, they all had been booked by the student clubs, and so there weren't any minibusses.
Never mind. Adapt and improvise! Car-owners were picked out from the by-now disgruntled hordes, and promised petrol money and free beer at the student bar as a bribe for not being able to drink at the Beer Museum. After much grumbling and complaining, the horde set off for Burton.
When they finally arrived at their destination, the Beer Museum was shut. Nobody had thought to phone ahead and find out opening times, or book a tour, and this was a Wednesday, back in the times when Wednesday was traditionally early-closing day.
So, I think that the above story counts as empirical proof that Staffordshire Polytechnic's student union couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery.