Monday 29th September
Monday saw me on the 07:50 train from Redditch to Five Ways for a CT scan of my jaw, in advance of next weeks cyborg transformation*. I was somewhat apprehensive about the procedure, recalling the acute claustrophobia induced by a scan a few years ago. There was no way I was looking forward to being slid in a tube like machine and having to lie still. Fortunately, on this occasion, I was sat in something more akin to an electric chair with imaging hardware rotating around my skull and felt far less constrained. The scans took seconds to complete and within five minutes I was watching a 3D rendering of my jaw appear on screen.
By five past nine I was back on the platform at Five Ways waiting for the train back to Redditch.
The rest of the working day was spent preparing scripts for tomorrow's client presentation and making final tweaks to the running order.** Five o'clock was the deadline for Proposal submission and our Sales Lead confirmed that our submission had been delivered. The review of presentation matierials continued until six in the evening when I was forced to hang up, eat and tidy myself in preparation for a trip to the theatre … Just over an hour later I was wandering through the doors of the Malvern Winter Gardens and plonking myself in to a seat for their production of To Kill a Mockingbird.
If I am honest my heart wasn't in it. I was tired. I had an important client presentation on the morrow and really just wanted to be a couch potato. However I remained positive and can report that the plot held my attention but I was not a huge fan of the play itself. I came away thinking that I would like to see a better production or perhaps the film version from the early '60s.
The day closed with a quick shave and selection of a suit, shirt and tie as I had another early start on Tuesday.
Tuesday 30th September
After six measly hours of sleep I hauled myself out of bed, washed, dressed, drank coffee and wandered out to the car. After a two hour cruise down the motorway I found myself outside the Slough Depot and waited patiently for the rest of the RFP Team to arrive.
By nine o'clock we were all sat around a conference table, making last minute tweaks to the running order and muggins here suddenly acquired an extra slide to present. I am still not quite sure what the infographics were suppose to represent but the Execs appeared to like the bullshit I spouted so I couldn't be far from what they wanted.
At midday we climbed in to cabs and were ferried over to the client's offices in Uxbridge. It is a site I know well, having visited the current client and many others during my subjugation with Dante's NCoH. I played I-spy Corporate Logos as we drove past concrete and glass.
The presentation went well. The client was attentive and more than happy to give us more time when it was apparent that we were going to over run. The timing issues meant that I needed to abbreviate my delivery to ensure the Technical Boys had time to get in to the nitty gritty. I therefore raced through my slides and was able to sit back and ponder why anyone would design a chair as un-fucking-comfortable as the one I was forced to sit in for the next three hours.
As six o'clock drew near the session closed and I was able to stand upright with every muscle in my mid section screaming. I was so looking forward to being cosseted in the cabin of the Range Rover after being cooped up all day.
The drive home was a delight and my aching back eased as the miles passed. I arrived home shortly after eight and 30% advised that a beer was chilling in the fridge … Christ it was welcome!
Wednesday 1st October
Wednesday found me, once again, on the platform at Evesham waiting for the 07:50 to Paddington. Today was the debrief session and for the first time in many weeks it was a relaxed just get here when you can rather than can you be here by eight thirty?***
The casual approach to the start time was an absolute boon as Paddington Station was in a state of chaos. Signalling problems had led to delays on the Underground which in turn had resulted in overcrowding and temporary closure of Tube stations. As a result the taxi queue was over one hundred yards long and had an estimated hour of waiting. I decided to wait it out and eventually made it on to the Tube Systems about an hour later.
The debrief went well and much of the session was spent examining who would be responsible for what in the hastily assembled, hybrid solution that we pulled together in the last two weeks. By four o'clock we were done and I found myself heading back to a much calmer Paddington in time for the 17:22 back home.
* dental implant
** apart from the twenty minutes on the 'phone to the Tax Office advising them that they had got their calculations wrong and that I most definitely did not owe them over four thousand pounds in back tax … they are now rechecking their figures after noticing that Dante's Nine Circles of Hell sent two returns effectively doubling my salary for the first half of 2013/14!
*** This may look like a question but it is most definitely an instruction.