View My Stats

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The real world

My first week, post on-boarding, in the real world of work.  This has not been that painful so far.  I have my first deal, actually taking over from one of my clan (at least his surname suggests so) though we have not yet found the family tree intersection point.

The real issue is that this was a deal that was completed, the client put it on hold, and it is just coming alive again.  My namesake is now on another deal, and so is handing over to me.  This at least gives me someone to buddy up with, however I am going to have to be on my own sooner or later, and I know little about the client, nor its infrastructure, nor the account team, nor the very many new three letter abbreviations, aka TLAs, I will need to learn.  It will all come in time I know, but sometimes team members do not have the patience with the new guy.

My other bit of work a mini project to get a new system populated with information for a bunch of different opportunities, one of which is my new deal.  There is some irony in this because I have just spent two weeks being trained in the process, and now there is a new tool to run it.  In truth, most of what I have learnt is useful, but this new tool will change the way we do our bit, and I guess being near the front of the queue of people who are learning how to use the new system will give me some kind of advantage over my more experienced colleagues.  The challenge with this bit is that I am engaging with people on opportunities, and all I have is my classroom training, so I am asking "do you have a wotsit?" they are asking "what is a wotsit?", or worse, "ah, for our proposal, we did not bother doing one".  What does the newbie say to that?

We are off to the New Forest tomorrow in the 'van.  I have installed the new hitch on the it, so it fits on the new car, so it will be a new experience towing with the new car, and without the snake-bar (but with an Al-Ko hitch instead).  Apart from the weather, I am very much looking forward to it.  LO is out tonight at a leaving do for one of her teachers, so we are packing and leaving tomorrow morning.

On that note, I shall wish you a great long weekend, Happy Easter, whether the Jesus or the chocolate variety, or indeed if both.  Speak next week.

Friday, 18 March 2016


End of training week two.  Phew.  Was gonna try and keep some "...ew" rhyming going there, but realise that would be naff.

I fell ill during the first day, and so spend a fairly miserable three days with a developing cold.  Nothing life-threatening, though were I in any other situation I would probably have retired to bed.

I have really enjoyed the training.  It has given me the basics of my role and my part of the business, which is nice, and I have met a number of peers from various roles, again all within my general sphere, which is doubly nice.  This means I have some general knowledge to use in my role, and the beginnings of a network.  I will now need to get out there to start earning an honest crust.

Today, Friday, I am taking a breather.  I have done the first half of my expenses (an education) and have finished some of the training we did not cover in the course (also an education) and as I type this, I have been watching the weeks news show for NN.  It is fairly light-hearted in style, but actually very informative too, and one item was on the new memorista technology, which by coincidence we used in our final presentation, to demonstrate the ultimate partnership with our client.  You had to be there really.

These two weeks have really taken it out of me, and being ill has certainly not helped, so today I am just catching up on things and taking it a bit easy, ready for next week.  The weekend is a normal one, with sporty things Saturday, and of course the rugby Saturday afternoon, but we are in Saturday evening, which I think is just what we all need.  Sunday we do have "high tea" at A&E's, the third is a series of "Special Sundays".  I suspect that my unwellness will mean I won't be drinking, so it should be fun, without the Monday morning hangover.

I hope you have a great weekend.  Speak next week.

Friday, 11 March 2016

education, education, education

It has been an intense week of classroom education.  I say week, it is four days, with Friday off to recover, and boy do I need it.

The training has been intense - 8.30am starts, usually going on to around 7.30pm, but it has been really good.  There was just a mass of information to offload on to us for these first four days, and that obviously means death-by-Powerpoint to a certain extent, but we did get to practice each bit as well, and to be honest it is the only way to get through the material.  Next week we will have some information to absorb, but we will also be spending much longer working on our proposals.  My boss will be judging the final presentations, so I want to be good.

I am loving the fact that I am actually getting high quality training for my role.  This is not something that is always there, it certainly was not available at Starfleet, so I am making the most of it and really getting stuck in.

I did have a slight embarrassing Tuesday evening, when about eight of the group went for an Indian, and I managed to fall asleep near the end of the meal.  To be honest, it was the perfect storm;  I was very tired from the day's training, we did not get there until 9pm (i.e. an hour from my favoured bedtime) and, worst of all, I was at the end of the table, up against a half-height wall, the other side of which was the bar, so it was very easy for me to catch one the waiter's eyes, and ask for another pint.  Thankfully one of my colleagues was driving, and he gave me a lift back to the hotel.  To avoid any further embarrassment, and especially since my new boss would be present, I drove to the Wednesday night meal, which also started an hour earlier, so consequently there was nothing bad to write home about.

This weekend we have the usual morning of sport, and in the afternoon I will be attending my 'van to fit a new Al-Ko hitch to the van.  This is needed because my new car has a standard swan-neck tow bar, pretty much defacto for any factory-fitted tow bar, but one that cannot take my snake-bar.  This new hitch will therefore provide the anti-snake feature within the tow hitch itself.  We need this to be done for Easter, when we plan to go away to the New Forest.

That's about all for this week.  Have a great weekend, and speak next week.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Nearly a month

As the title suggests, or rather states very clearly and simply, this is the end of week four, so near enough a month, especially as I left Starfleet on the 5th February.

I am still very much liking NN.  I acknowledge that this is the honeymoon period, but even those senior executive notes that in the other place, seems like a load of old guff, feels very relevant here.  I like the tone of the messages, I like the general sense of getting things done.  None of this is really so very different, so really it is how I am receiving it, which is exactly what I wanted and expected.

So, at the end of week four, where am I?  I have been in to the office, on Wednesday, and will have to find a better route because the one I took was VERY slow, and the journey took 2 hours.  The sat nav said one hour ten minutes, which rose fairly quickly to one hour twenty, which I think is what it should take, but I just went a bad way, with lots of bottlenecks of traffic.  I will learn slowly the best route.  Whilst there, I met with my buddy, who worked quite a lot with Golfy, so we had a good old natter about him, and do you know, he is not as bad as the graffiti says.

I also met with three other new starters, two ex-Starfleet, who will be on the two weeks of training starting next week.  I also met my boss' boss - who was actually my boss when I was interviewed, but in the intervening time got promoted, to be replaced by my now boss, who at the time was a senior version of me.

At home, things are fairly steady.  One task that I need to complete before Easter is to fit a new tow hitch on my caravan, one with built in stabiliser features, since my old stabilisation device was a "anti-snake bar", which needs a different type of tow ball than I have (old style with a plate on which to mount the bracket to attach the snake-bar to the car).  I had to do a fair amount of research, visiting the 'van twice just to determine what kind of attachment I have, and it is one vertical and one horizontal bolt, whereas all the videos I have seen assume two horizontal bolts.  I also have a handbrake that would get in the way of some of the newer tow hitches with their long handles.  The one I have found is for smaller, or rather lighter, 'vans, and its handle is all within the dimensions of the main hitch.  It also has two horizontal holes, to fit most 'vans, but also one vertical one which should, I think, fit mine.  I got it new of eBay for a good price, and the person was also able to advise that it would fit my fitting, so I am hopeful.

I plan to recruit E to help me, since he is very practical (that is not to say that I am not), but as importantly, he has a decent set of spanners, including a torque spanner.  As this hitch is the only bit keeping the big white box attached to my car, I am very keen for it to be fitted correctly, and E is definitely the man to help ensure that it is.

Maggot 2's team was unceremoniously dumped* out the cup last week, so our season is over, though we plan to have friendlies regularly, and there will be a couple of tournaments and cups to play for as well.  The friendlies are important, because as of next year we move from seven to nine aside, and there will also be off-sides, as well as the other team not needing to retreat to the half-way line for goal kicks.  Typically, even the best teams are rubbish for half a season, since this really is quite a change for the boys, hence why getting as many nine-a-side practice matches in before the season starts is really good for us all.

I hope you have a great weekend, and speak next week.

* I say unceremoniously because this is a team we have beaten, but they just wanted it more than us, so fought hard for every ball, and as a result we ended up panicking and booting the ball away, straight to their feet for the next attack.