This is an old -but amusing- story. I was one week in my PhD programme, and had to get a couple of signatures for my application to the Society of General Microbiology. I needed two patrons, and the head of the department I was studying. I knew my supervisor’s husband worked at the same department, so I went to him, asking for a signature, as he was a member, and I really did not know anyone in that university yet. Or in the UK for that matter.
This guy had this grim determination about him: always stern faced, always serious. I found him somewhat intimidating to be honest. I found him sitting in his shared office, I told him I needed a signature, and after he signed it, I asked him to tell me whom should I go to for the head of department signature.
There was this flash of amusement in his eyes, he turned the page, and signed it without moving a muscle on his face and handed the paper back to me.
Mine burned for a long while after that.