As it may be guessed by my lack of output, it has been a bit of a busy one and, for the past three days, once I have managed to extract myself from the laptop the last thing I wanted to was go back to it for recreational purposes*. So here is my round up of the week. Incidentally don't you be looking for fun and excitement it is drudge and grind with a glimpse of Bad Man Senior's Dark Side on Friday.
Wednesday - He'll have us all in Gaol
Today's title refers to the chap in America who is leading the Global Project. Let's call him Cowboy Kevin. He is a real charmer until you spend a few minutes analysing what he does and doesn't say. He doesn't like to be questioned and if you raise a difficult issue he will talk over the top of you rather than let you explain the situation so that it can be understood and resolved. Basically he is an arrogant Fuck.
Also he doesn't appear to like my e-mails because he reads them and then refuses to answer them. Basically he doesn't like difficult questions and in this game you have to like dealing with difficult questions.
Well today he told us that our project scope would include being responsible for a range of services immediately after the Contract has been signed. ** There is a teensy, weensy issue with that approach and unfortunately I can't go in to too much detail here due to confidentiality but lets just say that his approach contravened a number of European laws and would have resulted in a number of quite senior Daemons at Dante's Nine Circles of Hell being at risk of imprisonment.
The net result of this was a series of calls running in to the evening that put the US team back on the right track and, although they have not totally backed down, they now acknowledge that their approach will not work for Europe...
... Note to self: find a few minutes tomorrow to set out the European position and send it to Cowboy Kevin copying the great and the good and our Legal people.
Thursday - More Risky Business
Thursday involved a trip down to my nearest Circle of Hell to be trained in the use of our Risk Logging Tool. Up until now I have used a simple spreadsheet / e-mail combination for risk management but this is a Beast of a tool. A lot of people don't like it but, having had an introduction and started to enter in some of the serious risks on the latest escapade, I can advise that it is a bit of a slog to get them logged and that it takes a conscious effort to ensure that it is regularly updated but, in the long term, it will be well worth the effort...
... "look in the Tool" is far easier to type in response to an e-mail than a trawl around my mail archives to find the particular communication that a person wants to see.
The rest of the working day was spent in conference calls and meetings. The majority of these did nothing to move the Beast forward. In fact, the majority of these calls seemed to be to ensure that the team were up to speed .... Communication rather than Resolution. I know that both are necessary but with the amount of time I have available I need to have far more resolution and communication needs to be concise and not repeated - SMIs Take Note!
Thursday evening saw me just want to vegetate in front of the fire. I did manage the fire element of that desire but vegetating was not going to happen. Instead I spent an hour or so chatting with a very nice Community Support Officer about some local Youths who now seem to be moving away from harmless pranks in to the realms of vandalism and assault. I'm not sure where this will end up but I'm guessing that there is more going on than meets the eye.
Friday - Playing Games
The title actually relates to Bad Man senior rather than me.
Today BMS called round for lunch and a chat. If I am really honest I have so much work on that I really didn't have time but I could tell that he really wanted to get away from the house and so I made an early start and planned a later than normal Friday finish so that I could switch off the laptop for an hour or so in the middle of the day.
What actually happened was that I spend the first forty minutes of his visit with a 'phone glued to my ear and he was left to potter and chat to Tyson and Marauder***.
Right, the playing of games, let me explain; BMS is eighty later this year. Step Mum Sue will also be 60 and this year is also their 25th Wedding anniversary. Basically there is a need for a bit of a celebration in the Summer. Add to this that I have two sisters that I don't have any contact with and things get a bit sticky when it comes to Family Gatherings.
Now BMS fully understands the position of me and my sisters as he also has a sister he almost never has any contact with but he does occasionally like to stir things up ...
... Last Sunday the Sisters were at BMS's house for Lunch and the conversation turned to his upcoming Birthday celebrations. This was the point at which BMS pointed out that they could arrange what they liked but they had better ensure that bad man. 30% and TP were on the invitee list or he wouldn't be turning up. Apparently there was, what is known in the trade as, a tumble weed moment. This was only dissipated when Brother-in-law**** asked for another glass of wine.
Now BMS knows that there is so much distance (geographically and in outlook) between me and my sisters that it would be better for all of us if we did not attend but there are times when he does like to make my sisters squirm and feel very awkward ...
... it is rare that his manipulative side ever shows itself as he is a very straightforward man but it is quite amusing to see that he has put his two controlling daughters in an uncomfortable position. He knows that I will decline and there are likely to be a couple of events but he is the Patriarch after all and there are occasions when the Silver-back roars and the family group takes notice...
... as the saying goes; "You can choose your friends ..."
---* There is always a very high risk of an inadvertent peep at the in-box and that just results in swearing and another hour on a fruitless mission.
** The HUGE assumption there being that the Client will actually like our Proposal and sign up to it
*** This involves them sitting adoringly at his feet while he feeds them digestive biscuits
**** BMS is not a huge fan of BiL. He would call him a parasite but doesn't want to offend the Tapeworm community