Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dichotomy

The Gorse Fox is aware of the two competing themes in modern society and he is troubled by the dichotomy they provide.

On the one hand there is the attempt to stifle free speech and prevent people from saying anything that is not approved as politically correct. This has come to a head this week with the vile abuse of certain people on twitter due to their timerity to espouse views that were different from their abusers. Whilst the Gorse Fox does not in any way condone abuse - he worries about the affront to people expressing or opposing ideas. 

This seems at least illiberal, if not actually repressive.

On the other hand we find the printed press, the TV industry, and film glorifying promiscuity, infidelity, disrespect, and avarice. What was a gradual liberalisation has become an accepted norm. Fidelity seems to be looked on as unnatural - indeed even sneered at.

This seems liberal to the point of moral erosion and decay.

The Gorse Fox will not conform.

The Gorse Fox's rule is agree, disagree, or ignore - but always respect someone's right to have an opinion.

His other rule is to be honest, be true, and respect and love your partner.

Intense

No, the Gorse Fox has not been camping.

The schedule today has just been end to end calls, meetings and reviews. A few were a little fractious, let's say, but most were just hard work. I does sound as if we are in a better position vis-a-vis working locations, however. The off where the Gorse Fox has been working is no longer regularly available but others will be identified. Meanwhile his plan is to head for Ripper territory tomorrow.

It looks as if we are about to get some more "help" though this may be a distraction at first. However, said "help" is a good colleague and once up to speed should be terrific. (not that it is by any means certain yet).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Docs away

it has been a good day - the non-attendance of colleagues on a call this morning released 90 minutes of the Gorse Fox's day back and allowed him to clear the last few items on the document he was finishing. That is now in the ether and awaiting review and feedback.

Other meetings went ahead and were quite helpful  indeed the Gorse Fox was lumbered with presenting another colleagues work. This went quite well - and as usual he finds that if you present material with enough confidence and panache, nobody really asks whether you know what you are talking about.

Though it has rained on and off throughout the day in London the Gorse Fox has managed to stay clear (but then he only has about 10 yards to walk where he is exposed to the elements. 

Talking of exposure - he has to complete his mid-year reviews this week and feels exposed. He has 6 more reviews to conduct before the end of Friday... alongside the day job. At least they are all scheduled now.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Juxtaposition

The Gorse Fox has spent the day in the client offices and despite several interrupts has made significant progress on the document he is trying to finish. Now he is just awaiting input from a couple of colleagues and it will be put to bed.

Judging by comments from the north - it has been very wet in Edinburgh, so the brief shower in London during the late morning was nothing special. The afternoon turned hot and humid.

The journey home did not start well. The Gorse Fox caught the usual tube train and started burrowing beneath the capital. As we left Green Park, however, the train stopped in the tunnel. It would appear that when a tube train and a human being try to occupy the same space at the same time (unless using the door) it rarely ends up well for the human. So it was in this case. Some poor soul decided to embrace an inbound tube at Victoria - as you would expect it did not end well. The Gorse Fox's thoughts go  out to the driver of the train and family of the victim.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quiet Sunday

A pleasant and quiet Sunday started late and just sort of trickled along. Nothing much to report as much of the day was spent on inconsequentials.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Preparation

With a trip to see Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit approaching, today was spent doing preparative administration. Researching, selecting, and then applying for the right currency card; working out the spending budget whilst there; starting lists of the things to take and so forth.

One problem that persists is to determine what birthday gift to source for the Coventry Hobbit. C-c is sorted, but CH is still a problem and the Gorse Fox has sought inspiration from C-c.

The weather was forecast as torrential rain with thunderstorms. Well we were lucky. Thought we had a couple of rumbles of thunder and a an hour of steady rain - we avoided the worst of it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

TGIF

Three colleagues have had hard drive failures on their laptops this week. All in the same location - which makes the power supply suspect in this Edinburgh building. To lose one HDD is rare enough, but 3 in one week is very suspicious.

It cam as a timely reminder to backup everything of value. The Gorse Fox is paranoid about data loss and has a number of mechanisms in place to ensure he protect valuable digital information. For the sake of those who are not so careful here is a quick summary...

Background...

  1. Assume you will suffer a catastrophic loss of a disk drive, or a computer. If the assumption proves false, then you can feel smug.
  2. Assume that a computer can be rebuilt from the installation disks (or the Recovery disk you created when you installed the machine - you remember to do that step didn't you?)
  3. Assume the applications you use can be reinstalled from their original distribution packs (CDs, downloads, or whatever - you did make a note of the license key didn't you? I keep mine in Evernote).

So now we only have to worry about the application data,  the photos, the emails, the designs, and the drawings... the things that change on a regular basis as you use your computer:

  1. Analyse the computer folders to find out where your precious files, photos, and other data are stored. (Likely places are: My Documents, My Photos and so forth... but there could be others. The Gorse Fox has an external drive M:\Music and another T:\Photolib).
  2. Make a note of the folders where your files are squirrelled away.
  3. To cope with the first stage of data-loss paranoia, go and buy one or more external hard-drives which can be connected to your computer (by USB or Firewire) or to your Local Area Network.
  4. Connect to the hard drive and copy across all of the folders you identified in the analysis above.
  5. Set up a reminder to repeat this exercise on a regular basis. The Windows Scheduler cam be pressed into action to do this for you. 
  6. There is an excellent product called ALLWAY SYNC which can manage these backups for you on a Windows computer.  The Gorse Fox has this set up to manage different folders on different schedules based on their volatility.
  7. Indeed he has all of the computers in the house set up to backup data to the same external drives using the same underlying mechanism.
  8. At this point, all of your precious data should be in two places, the second being the external drive.

There is a second degree of paranoia. What if the computer equipment is damaged (fire, flood, lightning strike, hurricane, alien invasion)? You should really have a further copy of the data somewhere other than your home or business.

  1. Microsoft, with their SkyDrive, and Google with their Google Drive provide storage services on the internet. (There are many other providers e.g. BT, Dropbox, Amazon, Carbonite etc.) The Gorse Fox uses SkyDrive and GoogleDrive (and pays a few dollars a year to extend the space beyond the free allocation of 5GB).
    Sign up for some storage in the internet.
  2. Now you have a pool of storage that is accessible over the internet. Return to your backup strategy and rework it so that files are not copied just to the external hard drive that you purchased, but also replicated up to folders stored in your internet space (which you may have heard references as "The Cloud")
  3. Again, the Gorse Fox uses ALLWAY SYNC to schedule the automatic backup of the data to this internet storage. The first time it backs up will take quite a long time, but subsequently it only sends those files which have changed, and completes much more quickly.

Yes but what if?

  1. No backup really has value unless you know how it can be recovered. Make sure that you have details of where your backups are, and how the data can be retrieved.
  2. Practise retrieving some of the data every now and again

You can now sleep better and your data-loss paranoia should subside over time.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Good, rather good

Despite a very early start the Gorse Fox has had an unexpectedly good day. Nothing special, but lots of solid progress and very few interruptions.

As usual the tube from London Bridge to Angel was particularly unpleasant, but everything else was quite positive. Now the biggest problem faced at present is to decide whether the Gorse Fox should be in Edinburgh at all next week.

for now, he'll sit on the train and await its departure for the realm of West Sussex.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

And relax

The day was remarkably devoid of stressed people or confrontations. The Gorse Fox started in the Starfleet Office, but at lunchtime headed out to the outskirts of the City to spend the afternoon at the offices of the client. This was the first time the Gorse Fox had visited these particular offices but was pleasantly surprised by the modern surroundings - even if it is a little remote.

After his meetings and the obligatory calls, he headed off to the airport - a mere 15 minutes away - and was soon sitting in the lounge with a cheese roll and bottle of beer.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cosmo

The Gorse Fox tried a new restaurant tonight. He had never noticed it before, tucked alongside the big cinema complex near the Edinburgh Playhouse. Cosmo was much like Days Inn in Brighton  and all you can eat buffet with a wide selection of cuisines. 

The huge turnover meant there was a continual flow of freshly cooked dishes. The choice was focused on Asian cuisine, but for the less adventurous there was the option of pizza and other Italian dishes. The Gorse Fox headed straight for the Asian tables - there was Japanese (sushi, teppanyaki, etc); Thai (green and red curries); Chinese (all sorts); and Indian (of many kinds). 

The food was superb and great value, and the Gorse Fox will return.

Another full day

Starting early, the day saw the Gorse Fox working on some slides for the client presentation. This then went through a review along with all of the the slides from his colleagues. This triggered a further set of changes and then a further review. Finally, just after high noon, we gathered and awaited the arrival of the clients.

Six hours later the presentations were completed - or at least as completed as they were going to be. Brains fried, we bade adieu to the clients and settled down for a debrief.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Not so healthy

The Gorse Fox headed out to eat. He really fancied a pizza, but has learnt that pizza in the evening usually results in a poor night's sleep. He headed for Frankie & Benni's - always a good source of a wide menu. He tried a New Jersey Chicken and thoroughly enjoyed it - though it seemed to have an infinite calorific value. Chicken breast, crispy bacon, pulled pork and Monterey Jack cheese. Absolutely wicked - but so enjoyable.

Looks like it may be a long day

Well, the Gorse Fox strolled up to the office from his hotel arriving well before eight and anyone else. The day has been back-loaded however. The morning was fairly quiet, but by lunchtime the pace built up and the afternoon has been spent preparing slides to present to the client tomorrow.

To ensure consistency of style and message we are gathering at 1730 to pull the whole lot together and practice. Think of this as a qualifying lap, because first thing tomorrow we will go into the next qualifier to see if we can set a better lap... ready for the lunchtime start with the client's exec.

Could a late meal and late back to the hotel

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Back up North

The Gorse Fox is back on his travels and after a relatively trouble-free flight he has settled in to his hotel in Edinburgh

Whoa!

The Gorse Fox is, traditionally, and early riser and even at weekends is perfectly happy to be up and about by 7-ish. He was, therefore, completely discombobulated this morning when he woke to it was almost 9 o'clock.

Off to Edinburgh later, so a quiet day is planned.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lazy

Well that has turned into a lazy day.

Some ideas about 3D modelling were researched, but then when the Gorse Fox decided to try them, he realised he didn't have the requisite measurements and dimensions of the room he was trying to model.

After an afternoon in the garden, the curry is now cooking... and normal service is being resumed.

Progress

Slow start after yesterday's late night... but even still, the lawn mower was stashed away by 11:30 as the first priority task was completed for the weekend.

Time for a coffee

Friday, July 19, 2013

Soundtrack

Carlos Santana and his band have provided the soundtrack to the last 44 years of the Gorse Fox's life. The Gorse Fox returned from a year in the States in June 1969, and Woodstock seemed to change music forever in August that year. There were so many memorable moments and performances: The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Ten Years After, but most memorable of all was Santana.

After an unpleasant journey through ridiculous traffic we arrived at Wembley and made our way to the restaurant. The meal was a bit rushed, but we managed to enjoy it and make our way into the area in time for the start of the concert.

We have seen Santana before, but somehow neither of us ever tires of his music and the excitement and emotion it conjures.

The set started at about ten past eight - with a ten minute opening number that just blew your socks off.
The Gorse Fox can't remember every track that was played, but they included so many of his favourites: Smooth, Maria, Black Magic Woman, Incident at Neshabur, Oye Como Va, Soul Sacrifice, Jingo, Corazon Espinado, Evil Ways, Sunshine of Your Love... and so on.

Two hours and twenty minutes later it was over and sated, we left with our eyes bright and our ears buzzing to head for home.

If you have to have a soundtrack to your life, then you cannot really improve on Carlos Santana and his band.

Traffic

Two and three quarter hours in traffic to get to Wembley... but now ssiting for our food. Good job the Gorse Fox booked!

The Study

The Gorse Fox's study is his sanctuary away from work. That is not to say he doesn't work from his study - he does, but somehow it is a a lot more peaceful and and provides an atmosphere far more conducive to concentration and (for that matter) contemplation.

Today's focus is on personnel matters; the client has had enough of the Gorse Fox's time this week and there are administrative tasks to complete.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Essentially that is done

The material is now ready for processing and submission to the client tomorrow. Despite his fears, the Gorse Fox has managed to leave at a sensible time and sits on his normal train awaiting departure to the civilised South Coast. (The gentle coo'ing of a cold beer can just be heard over the sound of the air conditioning and the 60 mile gap from here to home).

It has been a strange and bitty day - sorting out diagrams, reviewing text, word-smithing complex ideas to make them more intelligible and all this interspersed with empty slots that triggered streams of consciousness on other topics. The Gorse Fox feels sorry for his colleague John who has had to put up with these various explosions of ideas.

The Gorse Fox has a quiet day planned tomorrow - and whilst he will be working for part of the day it will be to catch up on other work, not related to this client.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Another one approaching completion

Another day full of discussions, writing, diagrams, and panic as Starfleet approaches the release of commercial terms with the client. Those who have worked in the organisation will recognise the sheer volume of work that always seems to accumulate in the last days before release. There are plenty of people expecting a very late night tonight and the Gorse Fox expects to be summoned to a t/c when he gets back home. 

Interestingly the Gorse Fox has been invited to a meeting (which he cannot attend) on Friday. A delegate was suggested but the programme director admitted that nobody else understood the whole problem and its solution as well as the Gorse Fox and delegates were not really acceptable. Considering they have been ignoring tgf for the last couple of months, it is good to hear that they are beginning to recognise the wisdom of his words (finally). Well as the Gorse Fox is not available on Friday a delegate will have to do!

The Gorse Fox has a couple of changes to manage in the management tree. This is proving to be a bigger commitment of time than expected, particularly when others intervene and screw things up.

Later train home tonight... but that's the nature of this point in the commercial release.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Please be specific

The Gorse Fox was greeted at work by a request that asked him to transform a diagram created by a colleague into a format that was more consistent with the other material we were producing. It took a bit of thinking about as it was trying to illustrate information orthogonal to that shown elsewhere. Several hours later the Gorse Fox sent off the new version. 

Within minutes there was a response with a long list of things that should be in the diagram... but were not in the original nor in the morning's request.

Lesson to all - be clear in your specifications.

Managed to get away earlier than expected and even got the usual train (by the skin of his teeth). Had to share the first part of the journey with the usual riff-raff, but the train quietened down once we had left Croydon.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hot, hot, hot

Another steamy day in the City, with the opportunity to press ones nose to a stranger's armpit whilst travelling on the tube to and from the office. Not one of the highlights of the journey.

Much of the day has been spent sifting and organising information in a way that may make it consumable by the  great unwashed. Also had acknowledgement that the now infamous wiring loom is indeed valuable and should be at the heart of the programme (now that was a surprise). Only time will see if there is any buy-in to the concept - but it's nice to have one supporter!

Need to get some work done on the train tonight... so will sign-off for now.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekend end

The day was hot, and the Gorse Fox enjoyed a quiet day out of the sun and building and refining more of his 3D models. Today the real challenges revolved around building a model of the bid US-style fridge and of the round kitchen table. Once these were complete it was simple to drop them into the model of the new house and positioned them in various spots until we were happy.

The Urban-cub turned up to make the most of the weather and enjoy the peace in the back garden... though peace was relative, given that we had two air displays this afternoon.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Retrospective

The Gors Fox saw a building on the web today that he had once worked in. This got him thinking about all of the interesting tings he's done and places he's worked.

He managed to find images of all but one.

This is where he started in Cockfosters - 42 years ago.
Leaving Cockfosters he worked in Harlow, for Longmans, where he wrote the software for the first computer compiled dictionary - The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. An interesting exercise, featured eventually on Tomorrow's World.
Longman's lasted an interesting 4 years, but the the Gorse Fox moved on to British Aerospace at Hatfield where they were building the BAe 146. The five years spent there saw huge changes including the advent of PCs, the launch of the 146, trips to California and generally a good time.
That brought the Gorse Fox to the first of many interesting Starfleet locations.

Guesses at the locations are welcome...
First major move saw Starfleet moving the Gorse Fox and his family to southern England, and he was in the first tranche of people to occupy this building, when new.
Another move as Starfleet juggled divisions between various locations.
Another move, but less local; This became a home from home as the Gorse Fox travelled to Starfleet labs to write one of several book
The Gorse Fox's favourite of all the Starfleet locations. He spent many a happy time hear working with designers and developers and walking in the nearby mountains. .
Significant time was also spent here. A huge facility that was used to build some of the biggest and most robust of the Starships. (Nearby was Starfleet's own Country Club - where the Gorse Fox would go for Sunday brunch - and make use of the swimming pool.
This was one of his favourite locations and back in the early 90s he used to spend a lot of time here - and indeed wrote another Starfleet manual here.
Some of Starfleet's locations are a bit more secretive than others and the Gorse Fox could not find any photos. An aerial picture will have to suffice.
Back in the UK there was a further shuffle and the Gorse Fox ended up in this building until Starfleet terminated the lease... and by this point the Gorse Fox's role in Starfleet was changing significantly. More time on client sites, and less time in Starfleet locations.
Skipping several of the more boring jobs, the Gorse Fox started working here at what turned out to be one of the most interesting jobs he has had - not so much because of its initial objective - but more because the company was acquired whilst the GF was there and was asked to work on the acquisition by the buyers.
This saw a period of commuting to and from States on an almost weekly basis for about 12-18 months. The GF had an office high up in this building with wonderful views over its surroundings.
When he wasn't in the tall building on the East Coast, he was in this low building on the West Coast.
Skipping over several more brief encounters, the Gorse Fox found himself working here for nearly 4 years. A very interesting time in an iconic building.
From the sublime he moved to the ridiculous as he spent the next four years buried in projects to help protect the food chain in these buildings.
A further project saw a return to to this industry - but resulted in not winning the work that we wanted and they needed. The Gorse Fox bets they had selected Starfleet after all.
The the Gorse Fox had to spend a couple of years here sorting out the debris of a partial merger.
The buildings in which he is currently working will have to remain anonymous for now.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week is ended

That's it.

The working week is over. The day had thrown up several surprises, including a request to attend a conference call followed swiftly by a demand to present chunks of the material. Oh well, the big boys are obviously realising the limits of their bravado and actually need people who can distinguish a large cleft muscle group at the base of the spine from a hinged joint in the arm.

Strangely, the Gorse Fox also had to do some research into the finer points of the word processor. Features that he used frequently in the past seem to have disappeared in the latest incarnation. This has now been rectified and, if anything, are now more mature and better controlled than before.

Several personnel issues cropped up - but all got sorted. In the end.

The Silver Vixen has just hitched her sewing machine to the back of her broomstick and swept off into the evening to spend some time with her coven.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Back in London

Another hot and steamy day in the City, The Gorse Fox let a couple of tube trains leave without him this morning as they were too full and he refuses to start the day with his nose pressed into some stranger's armpit.

The office was quiet today which meant that he could get a lot of work done and also get bits of research under his belt. The one issue that has been tickling at the brain cells is beginning to gain currency elsewhere in the project. Fortunately GF has a couple of his lads working on this and today it was clear they have come up with a cunning plan.

He managed to get away sharply tonight and that meant he managed to get onto the earlier train. This was a mistake. It was packed and the GF didn't manage to get a seat until the train left Horsham. He doesn't really mind the standing up but what he does dislike is travelling with coarse, foul mouthed harridans and their nasty little kids. The Gorse Fox must say that they reinforce his ingrained prejudices against the Croydon area. It was like standing in the middle of one of the foul soap operas that infest the TV and encourage people to believe that confrontation and vulgarity is norm. The Gors Fox despairs for the children. What chance do they have when their mother F's and blinds at them at the top of her voice on crowded train.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Reviewing the situation

The Gorse Fox had to go to Starfleet's office in the Midlands. There was a major technical review of the  programme, and the Gorse Fox had to attend. The original plan was that he would be presenting parts of the solution, but there was so much discussion regarding other parts of the programme and responsibilities that in the end the Gorse Fox merely chipped in when needed.

One of the technical reviewers asked the "how" question as the review came to an end. The Gorse Fox  handed him one of the A1 prints of the Wiring diagram he has been working on. Sorted.

Was pleased how light the traffic was for the 300 miles driven today.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Early home

There have been a number of calls in preparation for tomorrow's review. Suddenly, the Gorse Fox's "wiring diagram" is the centre of attention. As a result, he has had to update it further and has had to leave the office early in order to get back to get it printed. (Now the observant amongst you might concluded that the printing could have been done in London, near the office. Indeed it could, but the cheapest quote the Gorse Fox received when calling round was £30 per sheet - in comparison to Staples at £2.50 per sheet this did not seem like a sensible deal).

Mid afternoon train is surprisingly busy.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Steamy

The Gorse Fox has been in London. Certainly one of the iconic cities of the world, and looking at its best in the hot summer sunshine. Unfortunately it is also a heat trap, and so can become a little uncomfortable as the mercury rises. The Gorse Fox has been luck in that he has been working in an air-conditioned building today, but fears tomorrow may not be quite so pleasant as he hears that the a/c has broken down at the client's office.

The Gorse Fox has had the chance to walk through his programme wiring loom with some colleagues. A few minor adjustments were needed but nothing momentous. Important to have similar reviews with other team leaders to get the overall picture right.

Sitting on the air-conditioned train at Victoria now waiting to burst into the sunshine of Southern England.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Spot the new house

This is the current view of the new house based on the developer's model.

Quiet Afternoon

You might expect the Gorse Fox to be glued to the TV watching Wimbledon.  But no , on an afternoon as glorious as this he and the Silver Vixen are sitting quietly in the back garden enjoying the summer.

Pack flattened

The console table / sideboard / wine rack delivered yesterday has been unpacked and constructed. It nestles against the wall of the the Gorse Fox's study. This has meant that four more boxes have been unpacked from the move. What with these and the box in which the furniture was delivered - another trip to the recycling centre (tip) is clearly on the cards.

Note Jasper is staying clear at present as there is now clearly room to swing a cat in the study.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Progress, again

The day started witha trip to the developer. There were papers to sign, plans to review and, in general, stuff to sort out. As usual, with all of the chatting, the trip turned into several hours.

Back home, the task of planning started. The first exercise being a draft 3D model of the house so that furniture could be placed and decisions could be made. Once this was drafted it was easier to see the impact of the changes we would like to make, and determine the degree to which they would intrude or overwhelm. Early results are promising.

The nice man from Homebase/Argos turned up late in the afternoon with the sideboard/console table that had been mis-ordered a few weeks back. The Gorse Fox will have to put that together tomorrow.

Friday, July 05, 2013

More of the same

Friday was more of the same. An early start, but no commute.

Soon, diagrams and text were flying from the computer and huge progress was made until 0900 when everyone else came online and the calls started. By late morning, and despite the calls, the Gorse Fox had finished reviewing the now infamous wiring diagram (a process map of our programme). It was looking fairly solid now so the Gorse Fox headed in to Chichester to visit Staples and get a full-sized print of said diagram. Given the panic emanating from some of the PMs this should help ease their troubled minds when taken to the review on Monday.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Best laid plans

It seemed such a good idea.

Work from home; save 5 hours of travelling and get various documents finished.

Yeah, right!

The early start meant that the Gorse Fox finished a diagram and edited part of a document before the first teleconference. That was when the rot set in. The t/c overran taking him straight up to his next t/c - which whilst interesting, also overran. Again, hard up against the next t/c he dialled and listened and contributed. Before he knew it it was 1330 and four and a half hours had been spent on the phone and no progress had been achieved in the interim.

There was a gap early afternoon and the Gorse Fox leapt at it, clearing it in a single bound. Another set of diagrams reviewed, corrected, extended and distributed.

The Gorse Fox is reminded, at this point, of Hoffnung's famous tale of the bricklayer's letter of complaint. (See: Bricklayers_Story.htm or Hoffnung on YouTube). "At this point I must have lost my presence of mind... because I let go the line! I answered the phone!" and so it was that the the rest of the afternoon disappeared as if struck by a barrel of bricks.

Maybe Friday will be more successful

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

At the coal face

Well, metaphorically. In fact very little coal was involved, no birds were taken into the office in a cage, and the Gorse Fox didn't have to wear a hat with a light on it.

Grabbing a tube from his hotel, the Gorse Fox was in the office well before eight. At nine he had to give a presentation over the phone to about 120 people scattered across India, Scotland and London. This resulted in a number of probing questions - but none that could not be answered.

This turned out to be good practice as the next meeting was with the Principal in the business and they wanted to see the same material. Again this went down well and again threw up no significant questions.

Much of the rest of the day was taken up writing more material for the commercial proposition that we are scheduled to present to the client in the next couple of weeks. In fact this is proving so time consuming that the Gorse Fox has decided not to spend 5 hours commuting tomorrow - and work from home. Frankly the tube was so hot and crowded tonight that he will not miss the experience for a couple of days.

It seem that the Gorse Fox has picked up a new responsibility as his colleagues retire - he is now the Architecture Practice Lead for his division - on top of being the HR lead. Oh well, who can expect a quiet life in this day and age.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Long day... and farewell

It has been a long day. The Gorse Fox got the earlier train to London Bridge and then on up to Angel. The day was filled with issues and documents and, it goes without saying, the occasional teleconference.

Finally, the Gorse Fox got away and headed for the Southbank where he met up with a large cadre of colleagues to bid farewell to several of our most senior troupers. It was sad to see the go. They had been good friends over the years, and it it will be necessary to stay in touch with them in the future. Despite the occasion, it was enjoyable and the Gorse Fox hopes that the turn out displays the affection in which they were held.

When done it was time for a quick pizza in Pizza Express, next door. Then the Gorse Fox was to tired to bother with the tubes - so grabbed a taxi to his hotel.

Farewell dear friends, enjoy your retirement. (Oh yes, and try to wipe that smile off your faces).

Monday, July 01, 2013

Grit

The project is clearly moving towards one of those milestones which raise everyone's stress levels. The  day was spent preparing for calls and conducting them. One resulted in the Principal wanting a completely different cut of the information - this will mean that the Gorse Fox has got a busy few days ahead (as if he didn't anyway).

The Gorse Fox now has his access badge to the client premises. This should be a good sign, however it seems to afford him no additional access to that available when on a visitor's pass. Duh!

The Gorse Fox is getting a bit tired of the mach behaviour of one of the VPs involved in the programme. He is a bit of a thug and shows little or no respect to the people working hard to make him look good. This behaviour seems to be endemic in some of the staff in his division. The Gorse Fox is not sure that he wishes to work with these people and so will cast his eyes around the current opportunities to see what else may be available come the autumn.