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Friday, 26 February 2016

End of week three . . .

. . .  and still only been in the office once.  Planning a visit next week, to meet up with some new starters who are also ex Starfleet, and hopefully also to meet my buddy.

I have continued to educate myself.  Passed the security exam, failed the managed workplace exam, and may try again if get the time.  Only need to pass one major, and I did my Cloud exam successfully last week, so this is all gilding the lily, thought my buddy did mention that he had heard that the exces are considering making it a rule that we pass ALL the major exams, so maybe I do need to do it now, while I have the time.

Otherwise, not much to report.  Maggot 2's team had a magnificent victory in the cup last Sunday, beating one of the best teams in the league on penalties.  Our goalie has been making noises that he might not want to be a goalie any more, possibly due to the complete lack of action in the last few games when we have won with stupidly high scores.  Having become the hero of the last game, I am hoping he may change his mind, especially as he is at the Brighton Academy as a keeper.

We have lunch for 21 on Sunday, as part of our social group's "monthly get togethers", and it will likely be fully of food, chat, and drink, and Sunday afternoon/evening and Monday may be pretty difficult for us all.  Oh well, you are only young once, or so I seem to recall.

Have a great weekend, and speak next week.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Another week under the belt

I am now a Spartan White Belt, and it happened by accident.

The online training I have been doing for just over a week was all leading up to me taking the core exam.  This was as perplexing as the same questions at the end of each module, and I score 67% first time round, on a test where pass was 80%.  With a bit more research and probably a little bit of luck, I then scored 87% second time round, and so had passed my core exam.

Next step was the to select a major - mine would be cloud of course - and with a couple of inquisitive mouse clicks, I found myself accidentally starting the exam.  To be frank, I have clicked around so many sites and buttons and "go here for further information" links that I a bit punch drunk, so it was less surprising that you may first suspect that I was in the exam.

"Oh well," I thought, might as well at least have a go, to see what it is like, and where I would need to read up.  Thirty minutes later and I had finished it, and with a score of eighty-something, which was a pass.  So, as I said at the start, I am now accidentally a White Belt.

By way of penance, I am now wading through all the training that I only found after I had finished, which is training to prepare for this exam.  It is long, but it is also useful, so I am not complaining.

On the home front, it is half-term this week, so picture caged tigers with too little to do, and you are close to the mark.  We did take the Maggots to a Clip 'n' Climb" last night, and as they were the only two in their session, I decided to pay and join them.  If you are not familiar, the picture below gives a sense (taken from the internet, not our actual one).

This included the "leap of faith", which on paper looked like a fairly innocuous jump from a platform a couple feet up on to a handle about a hands-breadth away.but in person it was, I don't know, two hundred feet up and requiring a fifty foot leap.  Okay, so I am exaggerating, but it was one of those things that looked doable on the ground, but when I got up there, I just could not do it, and had to take the walk of shame back down again.  Maggot 1 did the same, only to then do it when Maggot 2 had a successful go.  I say "successful", when in fact they did not jump for the handle, just jumped off, but from my perspective, that is as near as damnit, and I take my mountaineering hard-hat off to them.

We have an Indian extravaganza on Saturday night.  LO has been cooking for most of the day, and has, on casual observation, used every spice and ingredient that has ever been used to make such food.

On that note, I shall bid you farewell, and wish you a great weekend.

P.S.  Had a chat with BM earlier.  Great to hear from him, and to hear his news.

Friday, 12 February 2016

End of Week One

So I have come to the end of week one.  So far so good.

I drove to Bracknell on Monday, getting there just after 10am, and maybe because I was a little later than a usual day, it took just over an hour.  I met my boss, picked up all the required bits - phone, laptop, badge - and had a fairly good day overall getting setup to be able to connect remotely.

For the rest of the week, I have been at home wading through the induction and onboarding information.  It is the usual mix of videos, speech and text that is online training, and I have to say, so far it is pretty good.  One generic video about "my career in NN" is probably the best two minutes of inspirational (yes, I know, not a word that one often uses in a corporate setting) messaging I have experienced in a very long time.

I am now starting the proper education phase.  They have a program of work with stages of qualification, and I am currently leading up to the White Belt phase.  There is strong wish in the organisation, according to colleagues, for everyone to be white belt.  This gives us a basic understanding of the NN approach and point of view about the key topics in IT, so that we all talk with one voice, and present the same message.  Again, as far as online training goes, it is pretty good and I am learning stuff, rather than being distracted to file my nails or something.

I have started to get a bit restless to be honest.  I would rather be driving somewhere every day and getting stuck in, but a conversation with a colleague, also ex-Starfleet and a month ahead of me, said he had had similar conversations with other recent starters, and everyone has the same feelings that they want to get stuck in and make a difference, but that the organisation, and our managers, understand and expect that we will first be tucked away, getting ourselves up to speed.  The mantra is, know your company, know your business, know your role.  I quite like that, and as long as my boss is happy, then I am fairly content to bide my time, and get this "basic training" out the way.

This weekend is fairly normal, though Maggot 2 is on a birthday sleepover at a friend who is also the captain of his team, so he will be off to training tomorrow with them, and then on to watch Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium as part of the birthday celebrations.  It may be a match, Maggot 2 was typically vague on the matter, so I may go along anyway since I do enjoy watching them play a match.  Last week the game was postponed because the manager of the other team refused to play us, and had written to the FA to say as much.  It probably has something to do with the 13-1 drubbing of another Worthing team the week before, but not totally sure whether it gives the right message to the boys in either team.  Hey ho, life in the junior ranks is, as I am finding, always eventful.

Have a great weekend, and speak next week.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Day Two

I had my first day yesterday at NN Head Office.  I was met by my new boss, who seems like a good egg - Welsh, ex-rugby player who now plays badminton because of his knees, so an almost doppelganger to me, an English ex-football player who now plays tennis because of his knees.

This re-birthing thing is pretty frustrating.  I needed to get my photo done for a badge, and to register at the IT place for my laptop and headset.  My boss was on calls, so showed me where to go and sent me on my way.  Unknown to us both was that my visitor badge did not let me through any of the doors.  Assuming it was a fault, he let me out of the one door needed to go down the stairs to get to reception, to get a card that worked.  Of course, visitor cards are not meant to work, since we are meant to be accompanied at all times.  In the end the reception woman let me through one door for my boss to meet me from the other way, except the place to meet was not fully or clearly communicated, and I was in one place while he was in another.  Anyway, he did eventually find me and then he gave me his badge to get to all the places I needed to visit.

My laptop was pulled out of its box, and then needed a couple of hours to build, so I went off for some lunch, had a wander round the building to get a sense of the place, with my newly issued badge, and whilst doing this I innocently followed a person in to an area that I was not entitled to enter, and subsequently could not get out again until a nice lady let me follow her out.  And she hardly knew me.

As those in my situation always chant, I cannot learn less.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  I got all my logins sorted so that I could dial in from home, and I was handed the onboarding presentation with my two week schedule of stuff to read, complete, setup or otherwise interact with so that I get to know the place.

My learning curve just now is so vertical it may even be leaning back a bit.  But I am loving it so far.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

. . . and it's goodbye from him

My final day was, as anticipated, a damp squib.  I dropped off car, badge, laptop and phone SIM at Head Office, and then walked to the station for the train home.  It was like being born again; no car, phone, job or anything else to do that day, going via the local suburb which is one of those "there but for the grace of god go I" type of grim places. 

From this point, it is onward and upward.

Monday, I will start to plug in to my new organisation, going to Head Office to get all my acoutrements for working life.  I cannot wait for it all to start.  Had a nice LinkedIn email from an ex Starfleet colleague who now works at NN, telling me that both the organisation and our shared boss are excellent, which is just what I want to hear.  He also said "to give him a ping when I get setup", which is nice, as much for the familiarity of the term "ping" as for the kind reaching out to a newbie.

The final few days at Starfleet were really pretty good.  Relaxed (for which you can read "did not do a lot") and full of lots of nice words from various friends and colleagues.  A bit like at funerals, you only really get to hear (obviously not personally in the case of the funeral, but others get to hear your amazing life) what everyone thinks after it is all over.

This weekend there is not much to be done.  Today, Saturday, is the usual sport-fest for the junior male members of the Scobi clan.  Tonight it is a quiet night in, a beer (for the older male member of the Scobi clan) - now that Dry January is over - and a film chosen by the Maggots.

I will update you next week with my first week at NN.  Until then, have a great weekend.