Friday, July 11, 2003

Um, well, apologies for leaving a gap in days of entry... To recap:

Tuesday - Joan at add-on sales review meeting in Bury St Edmunds store so we got a bit of extra sleep before we had to head out there. It was a warm but dull day, drive up and parking went fine and we arrived with a good half hour to kill before her 12 noon session with the Area Manager and people from head office. Had a bit of a wander then dropped her off at the shop.

I then went for further wandering in search of distractions (found plenty, mainly in Ottakers book shop where I had to seriously restrain my urges to spend lots and lots and lots of money on multi-paged delights) and new shoes (didn't find any due to me having annoyingly small feet). Then at about 1230 when Joan should have been halfway through I found she'd sent me a message to say they were running 40 mins or so late, so she hadn't even gone in yet. Great news that was. In the end I found a semi-comfy bench fairly near the shop and settled in to wait with my book (glad I decided to take that).

They caught up a bit and she finally emerged about half past one. It all went very well, as they had done a load of preparatory work and they are actually up or at least on course on a lot of their targets and have had three managers in six months to muddy the waters. All told a good result I think. So we went off to a nice little cafe for lunch (which I managed to eat most of) then headed home. Joan went in to work to talk it over and I went home to do some preparation of my own for my review on Wednesday. The rest of the evening was nice and relaxed with a bit of telly and some mooching about.

Wednesday - in the morning we had a full group meeting. Nobody was 100% sure what we were going to be discussing as we'd been given no agenda. Basically it turned out to be a chance for us to throw in ideas for how we could get more people on the buses. These we then ranked and expanded on the top 15. All quite interesting stuff that hopefully will be used to steer where we go for the next couple of years. Plus I got to be all evangelical about Smartcards, which I am in favour of to replace more traditional bus tickets. And in keeping with tradition of big meetings in the room we were using, lunch failed to arrive. So we all went over to the staff canteen and had a lot of nice hot food rather than the anticipated drab buffet.

The afternoon was my performance review. I think it went OK, but I still have some targets I'm not too sure of. Still, they all have interim review dates so presumably we can tinker with them if it seems they will be totally unlikely.

Thursday - was of course the first anniversary of Ernie's death. Joan off but I had to come to work for the morning. Had the afternoon at home, however, to write up the review stuff so was able to give her a bit of support. We called in at the cemetary later on and had a moment or two of contemplation there. Then Joan had her back cracked back in while I did a spot of shopping and we called in to see Helen etc on the way home before getting scalped. A mellow day in all.

I can't quite believe that the year has passed already. Obviously things like Father's Day and his birthday were big reminders that yesterday was approaching, but it still doesn't seem like it was twelve whole months. As far as I could tell Joan coped OK with it all and is seeing her counselly woman again today. Hopefully things can only get better from now on.

Not much to report on today so far - have given Sonic my write up to see if there is anything else we need to add, and also my first draft of a letter to try and get books in to pubs. This afternon we have a New Routes meeting to try and take that onwards again as it seems to have stalled somewhere.

Finished The Many-Coloured Land last night and enjoyed it just as much as previously. But am indeed going with the intervening non-fiction routine so am now reading the second book by Giles Milton - Nathaniel's Nutmeg which is the one that brought him properly in to the public eye. It relates the history of the spice trade and obviously the one chap Nathaniel Courthope and is proving interesting thus far. More news when I'm a bit further in.

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