Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Missing Week *

It is half past seven in the morning. The house is quiet and I have a few minutes sat in front of the laptop when I know with absolute certainty that a) no-one or thing should take priority over writing this Journal entry and b) I don't have to sit here if I don't want to.

It is fair to say that the past week has been hectic on the work front and I am using the prehistoric excuse that after a day at work the last thing I wanted to do was spend further time pecking at a keyboard to fill the Journal with tedium.

Let's try to get work out of the way first. The current project has ludicrously tight timescales and there is the usual problem of getting Dante's to provide the right sort of Imps and Daemons to work on it. To make matters worse, my project is not likely to come to fruition until next year and the current "focus" is on projects that will sign before the end of this year. Personally I'm not sure that this is the right way of doing things as every deal has a certain likelihood of getting a client signature and it would make more sense to staff a certainty for early 2013 that a dying duck at the end of 2012. I'm not saying that my project is a "cert" but we have an established relationship with the client, are already delivering the services and there is no other competitor involved. It is, as they say "ours to loose" or as it appears at the moment "ours to totally fuck up".

The main issues of the week were that the client requirements failed to appear but the delivery date for our response was not shifted. This was leading towards the nonsensical situation where we just get nine women involved and then we can produce the baby in a month**. Late in the week I finally called out to IM that there was no way I could commit to the delivery dates for this project taking in to account the lack of information and resources combined with a weak Sales Team and unnecessary Executive reviews. This finally got the Management focus that is needed and hopefully some expectations have been re-set.

I don't feel any more in control but at least I know that I am now able to go further up the food chain than IM if I need support or assistance over the next couple of weeks.

Away from work I have made limited but steady progress in the Dining Room. The cupboard in the alcove is now definitely cupboardy rather than "a  pile of timber on the floor" although I still have a frame section to build and I am studiously avoiding thinking about the doors at the moment. I managed to put on the skirting boards behind the radiators which meant that I could finally call Paul the Plumber and get the heating put back on in the room. He was a Star and called round the same day and only charged a "cuppa" for the job. Chippy Ian also called around on Thursday evening and we installed the cast iron fire back. There was much faffing around with vermiculite, heat proof silicone and fire cement but it went in reasonably easily and all I need to do now is screw the oak surround to the wall and apply a little more fire cement in the cavity behind the fire back.

This weekend I really have to do some work but I am hoping to at least get the skirting boards routed and the shelving finished in the alcove.

On the entertainment front there were a few events too. We saw Greg Davis last Friday which was a reasonable stand up gig and definitely got a 7.5 out of 10. On Saturday we popped over to a local pub to see the Worzels. If you are under 40 or from another country this is going to make absolutely no sense whatsoever so apologies in advance ... I think it fair to say that the novelty of a geriatric, accordion based "oompah" band performing West Country versions of well known tunes soon wore off and I could have quite gladly left by song#3. Unfortunate we had to stay until after eleven o'clock as "I got a brand new combine harvester" was the encore number .... Bastards! We also nipped over to Bromsgrove to see Mark Thomas' stand up show Bravo Figaro. The first half of the gig was based around his People's Manifesto tour and radia show but the was a complete change in tack after the interval. The second half was a performance about his father, his father's love of opera, his father's debilitating illness and an English National Opera performance in a bungalow in Bournemouth. It was very funny and very touching and well worth seeing.

So that just about covers the missing week. The next two are going to be quite similar. Oh Joy!
* or, What the Fuck have I been up to
** see previous paragraph regarding resource availability !

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