Academic life, for me at least, seems to involve an enormous amount of hanging about. It's a bit, a lot actually, like war in that sense, Spike Milligan first noted this. These periods of hanging about are of course followed my moments of intense and dangerous excitement, in my case giving lectures and so on. However many of my colleagues appear to be alarmingly busy almost all the time. But I really have no idea what they are doing.
I also am working on the opinion that universities simply cannot do 'front of house', those sort of simple organizational efficiencies that services industries strive for, we are simply doomed to be back of house organizations, and that includes giving lectures, tutorials and so on, it's all rather private, we congenitally keep our public in the dark and when we don't we become heartless machinery appearing rather stupid and boring.
It's a tough time for students joining this new world.