52 States in 8 Months

I got the keys!

Posted in University stuff by Ulf on December 3, 2008

At some point I didn’t expect this to happen anymore. But today I was relieved. I and seven others got emails from the secretary. We were told that our key requests had been approved:

bild3720I paid a $40 deposit fee, I had to fill out a one-page form and I waited for four weeks. And still I have to carry two keys: one for the building and one for the room I’m working in.

In our German institute it was enough to write down my name in a list. I did not pay anything and it took me no longer than three minutes. The German key works for both the building entrance and a large number of terminal rooms.
My conclusion: The Americans have not only adopted German bureaucracy, they have even improved it!

The bad news is that our group moves to another room at some time in the future. Once we move I’ll have to apply for a new key. Hopefully the relocation is planned by the same office where they approve the key requests, so that it won’t happen before next summer.

(If you wonder how I took the picture: I managed to make my camera work again, at least a bit. I cannot zoom, but I can take photos.)


11 Responses

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  1. Andreas said, on December 3, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I got my key (only one for the office, building is with RFID in student ID card) on the very first day, took not longer than 5 minutes and the deposit is just $5. I didn’t have to sign anything. So at least for that no bureaucracy here…

  2. chrissi said, on December 3, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Uh, I didn’t pay anything, just had to sign a prepared paper, that I’m responsible for the key. And whenever I need to be able to open another door, I need to hand in the number of my key and after at most 3 weeks, my key will work for that one, too. One key for about 7 rooms – I love it. ^^

  3. Pingu said, on December 3, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I don’t need any key. Entrance to the building with Student ID card, entrance to the lab with number code :)

  4. chrissi said, on December 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Entrance to the building is realized with Student ID card, too. ^^ Plus we have to labs we can enter with our student card, others need a key. But usually there is always somebody around having one. :)

  5. ulf84 said, on December 3, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I’m jealous of you. All of you. Is there no one around who maybe doesn’t get a key at all?

  6. Alexandra said, on December 4, 2008 at 4:18 am

    Wow, this beaurocracy is truely amazing!
    I had to wait one or two days for my key. (However this is probably only because I didn’t have to apply for it myself, the secretaries took care of it. We have 4 secretaries in an institute that is perhaps only slightly larger than IST)
    Here at ETH Zurich everything is free (free beer and pizza after a lecture is everyday practice…), so obviously there was no need for a deposit. Did you know that Swiss Universities are entitled to apply for EU funding??? Well they are, they only got 10.000.000Euros recently.
    In general, there is a LOT of beaurocracy here. In several cases, it took 3months for the ETH administration to answer some email requests. Then, the answers were usually not very satisfiying; when I wanted to enroll here as a guest student, I filled in the appropriate form. There was a question “what do you study”, and I wrote “Technische Kybernetik”. (There was also a question about your home university, where I wrote Stuttgart, so I guess they shoud have been able to get the picture). After I had already been studying here for 3 months, I received the following reply: We are sorry, but it is not possible to study Technische Kybernetik here.
    -no comment-

  7. ulf84 said, on December 4, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Wow — I need to try the free pizza and the free beer one day :-)

  8. steffi said, on December 4, 2008 at 8:54 am


    be happy that you’ve got one in the end. our secretary applied for one extra key two month ago. we are still waiting….

  9. […] stuff by Ulf on January 13th, 2009 The last time I applied for keys it took the department about a month to decide about my request. Since they planned to relocate our group in these days, I applied for a […]

  10. […] Smoke detectors in the US and the Abwrackprämie in Germany Posted in Europe, USA by Ulf on March 9th, 2009 Before I came to the US I believed that this would be an exceptionally free country, for example having less laws than other countries. Well, this is not true. America is very similar to Europe. Actually, I already realized this when I got in touch with American bureaucracy. […]

  11. […] in June 2008 Susi sent me a mail saying that they would have to move “soon”. And in December I also believed that we would be relocated, but the processes at the UDel are sometimes very slow (and we […]

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