Friday, November 30, 2007

November 30 - Interesting Comparison

So the other day when I got into the elevator in my flat the other day (I know, I usually take the stairs but I had a load of stuff for my party and wimped out) I noticed the max capacity sign and had a giggle.

In England the sign says:
Max Cap 8 persons/630kg

In India the sign said:
Max Cap 10 persons/630kg

Can someone check an American or Canadian elevator? I'm curious to see which country's lifts can hold the most folks.

Hosted a small but fab party last night. Many photos. Will post some on the weekend. Note: Sangria, although seeming like a great idea is WRONG.

Oh and we are now live in eight countries...wooohoooo! [UK, US, Australia, Spain, Ecuador, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and the Philippines!]

Friday, November 23, 2007

November 23 - Trip to Paris (oh and Pilot time)

Me again.

Last weekend I headed off to Paris to 1) see Sarena who is working there right now and 2) to hang out with my bro (Chris) and his wife (Cat) who were on vacay there.

I think my head may still be spinning from all the stuff I did (or maybe from the stomach nasty that I picked up) but I LOVED Paris. So jealous of Sas for living there!

Highlights included:

- Napoleans Tomb
- The Musee D'Orsay - The Pantheon (particularly the pendulum) - The food (aside from the barfing :$)
Boo on the Metro workers for being on strike but all in all a great time.

Busy week here at work as we prepare to go live in 8 countries on monday. Things are going well and I think we have a Go! decision so that's great. Will probably be working on the weekend but at least this time I'll have company...I know...that's cruel...but what can I say.

Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

November 10 - Woking Beer Festival?

Okay I know I am going back in time but bear with me. I need to give you all a couple of updates and catch up. I'll get back to the present soon enough promise.

On November 9th I witnessed quite a spectacle...the Woking Beer Festival. For those of you in the O-dot you may be thinking "that's like the Wine and Food Show isn't it?". Well, no.
Picture you local community centre gym filled along one side with scaffolding full of kegs of beer, on the other with a stage with a sad cover band, in the back with a man named Len playing the Whirlitzer Organ and filled with a sea of beer-bellied, greying men some in Hawaiian shirts. Seriously!
It was a totally stellar event! (my coat was the last one out of coat check)Tickets are sold out months in advance and the place was PACKED. I went with a bunch of folks from work who go every year so they showed me the ropes luckily. You enter and get a pint glass. You can go around to all the different stations and try 1/2 or full pints of beer for super cheap. I tried light and dark beers. Beers that tasted like banana bread and beers that tasted like beef jerky. Some great and some horrible.

Later on in the evening there was even a sing-song with the organ. There were even songsheets and tunes ranging from Abba to the Beatles and of course Rule Britannia.
I even met the mayor of Woking!
When asked if I would return next year ... I just giggled.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

November 4 - Implementation...hmmm..

So tomorrow the ChildData system goes 'live' in five countries. As I sit here alone in the office trying to improve the setup of the system I wonder...who cares? If this were an Accenture project either 1) no one would have left the office on Friday until it was ready or 2) I would have a lot of over-tired giddy friends with me right now...perhaps a few take-out cartons and many empty Starbucks cups.

The people around here think I work too hard/much. I think they don't work enough. Acutally that's not fair. I think they are very good at letting work go. I am not. (ya, you can all laugh now...cause you know it's true).

Someone asked me why I work so hard/much. Especially those who know that I am getting only 50% of my salary. It's not the big bucks, that's clear. The money has never been much of a motivator for me mostly because I don't really have a good sense of it. I am horrible with money. I don't realize what I need it for and what having a lot of it around could do for me.

It's not the appreciation from my team/colleagues (there's very little of that aside from my boss who herself deserves millions more accolades). I think I work really hard for two reasons;
  1. I am a perfectionist. It's clearly a personality flaw. I am one of those people who think the only way to do something right is to do it yourself. baaaaaaaaaaaad news
  2. I have this odd sense of pride in my reputation.

I know if everything here on this project goes to pot the finger will be pointed in my direction. Clearly it won't be my fault but it's easier for people to blame the consultant. I suppose I am overly sensitive when people slag consultants. It makes me want to work harder to prove them wrong. Hence a viscious circle.

They will also blame my boss who has worked so hard to get this project to where it is (in my opinion the most successful development project Plan has ever had). She doesn't deserve any of the blame but she'll get and take it personally. And so I sit here on Sunday afternoon...

I was out with a friend on Friday who left the crazy project management world a few years back for many reasons. As we walked by his old office building he said he really misses it. That was quite shocking for me to hear but makes total sense.

Some days all I want to do is walk away from this stress and chaos but I never do and wonder why. It makes me stressed, exhausted, sick and often a sobbing mess so why not leave? Clearly that's the correct response. I think, like him, I would miss it. Glutton for punishment? maybe.

Okay I am babbling and need to get back to finding lost users and posting random documents so I can go and enjoy the fall colours before dark. Just wanted to get that out of my system.

I should also mention that I had a bit of a reunion with friends I met in Sierra Leone on friday. It was great to see Anna, Laura and Quirien again. Just like old times we did ridiculous things. There were no random glass-eating men nor beverage distribution little people but it was fun none-the-less. :-)

Back to work for me. Just over 40 days left. Only 100 or so more countries to go live in...should be exciting times! Keep the Christmas Starbucks cups and Festive Specials warm for me!

Congrats to Tim and Shannon and welcome to their weee one Thatcher (great name btw) and a Happy Happy B-day to Xenia-on-a-top (you know who you are!)!!!! Oh and welcome home Ms Parks! I hear you do a wicked Johnny W...can't wait to see it! :P