Friday, 10 June 2011

Through the Gate

It is now Friday evening and I am on the outside of a couple of glasses of Rioja.

Tigger and me have had one hell of a week hence the reason for straying from the hunny and pouring fine wine down my throat. Our final and most significant review of the week took place this afternoon. It was attended by representatives from all over EMEA and from all parts of the delivery organisation. I had set up my easel at the foot of one of the oaks and for the next 90 minutes showed them pictures of Tigger and me on the nelfunt hunt and told them tall tales of our exploits.

At some points in the story some of the more cynical members of the team, who would probably run a mile at them mere thought of a nelifunt let alone the sight and smell of one, asked difficult questions which taxed a bear that is more used to "what would you like for tea Pooh?" or "stick fighting or sitting on a branch, what do you think?". Fortunately the week had involved several briefings with Judge Dread and a Wise Owl and I was mostly well prepared.

The long and the short is that we got through the call and got a "conditional approval". This is the best we could have hoped for and means that we need to run around like mad things shouting to get the conditions met so we can deliver a firm price to the client at the back end of next week.

This week has been totally mentally and physically exhausting and by midday yesterday I had reached the point of information overload. Colleagues were saying stuff on calls and not a syllable was making any sense. I was trying to deal with instant messages and e-mails and attend conference calls at the same time. It is actually the equivalent of sitting in an office working away and having a conversation going on behind you. You hear your name mentioned and have to say "I'm sorry but can you repeat the question my attention was diverted elsewhere".

An hour before the call I actually just stopped work, stepped away from it and watched the TV news. In hindsight I am sure this was a sensible thing to do. I avoided any last minute distractions, false emergencies or  "flapping" by the uninformed and went in to the call giving my overview uncorrupted by any last minute additions.

So now I have an evening to spend with 30% and TP doing nothing. I have had a brief walk with T&M and discovered that the Outside is still there.

I realise that there is still much to do but it also dawned on me that I am moving in to an area where I do have previous experience, very limited experience but at least some. The first solo task I was given in this new role was to support contractual negotiations and final signings and that is where we are about to go. I have therefore trod lightly along a path similar to this.

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