Friday, July 16, 2004

Been a busy week these last few days (does that make sense?). Tuesday afternoon I was back across town to the old dingy St Edmund House for a briefing from our graduate trainee Mark on how his review of what we do is going. In the presence of our Assistant Director, Director and Portfolio Holding Councillor (as well as Ian and Mitchell with Charles and Derek and Julian to back us up). I actually found it quite useful - and not just in terms of finding out what he is up to - lots of stuff I've never really thought about before taking this new job. (I wonder how long I can continue to think of this as the new job...). We also gave an update on what we are doing
with the PSA area routes which seemed to go down well.

After that we all (well, us from the group, not the bigwigs) went over to the bar for a swift half. So that was the first time I'd been over there since the move as well. Also called in to say hello to Richard and was reminded again how pleased I am with Endeavour House despite the minor niggles. However, all was not joy and happiness. While I was over there Mum & Dad's cat got hit by a car and there was nothing the vet could do. Really sad as he was great fun.

Wednesday was a presentation skills course which was held at the Novotel in town. It was pretty good as courses go, but where we should have got:
  • Strategies for designing effective presentations
  • Defining clear objectives
  • Gauging different audiences
  • Proper preparation
  • What technology to use and back up equipment
  • Clarity of information
  • Hints & tips for presentations (body language, appropriate eye contact)
The session is designed to be interactive and fun. You will work in groups to design a short presentation and also have an opportunity to practice delivering it in a supportive environment.

What we actually had was a load of stuff about using Power Point. Not exactly what it said on the tin. And standards of lunch have also gone downhill since I was last at the Novotel (only one vegetable on offer - and that Broccoli!) although the mid-morning bacon rolls were up to scratch.
There was also a pretty good mix of people on the course from across the council (although biased towards Education) so we got a variety of topics covered and things talked about. Although they all managed to find a word or two of praise for Park & Ride.

Yesterday I was again out of the office - in a minibus with Charles doing route timing runs. One of mine/Chris's for the PSA area and one of his for his Lowestoft changes. Not a bad little run out in the ocuntry really. Most of our guessed times proved to be spot on the mark so just some minor tinkering to do. If only the weather had been a bit better and lunch in Yarmouth hadn't been so grotty (I should have suggested we find somewhere other than ASDA to go but you can't win them all - especially when Charles is involved).

Today back to a zillion emails and phone calls so will be glad to leave here soon for a night of relaxation and watching someone else get kicked out of the Big Brother house.

Monday, July 12, 2004

So here I am sat at my new desk. I wonder if I can get round the whole allocation of the group before we move to another building. Can't say I have noticed any improved group dynamics resulting from this revised seating today, but we will all be keeping a weather eye on things.

Good weekend, which was nice. Worked away at home on Saturday - and also finished the Dam Busters. Comments from previous days still apply! Then as it was released to the paperback preferring hordes I popped in to Smiths on my way to collect Joan and obtained the 5th in the series Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Enjoying it just as much as the first four thus far.

Sunday we went to the market and for the first time in ages I actually got something other than fruit, veg and bird food. OK, so only a book but one I've been considering anyway for £5 less than the price on the back. More details when I come to read it. Then a bit of shopping and a lazy afternoon followed by relaxed evening. Waking The Dead has returned for a new series and we are pleased.

Today has been fine for me, but frustrating for Joan as there seem to be loads of internal squabbles going on in the shop right now. Feel very sorry for her but not sure what I can do to help. Oh well, four weeks from now we will be in the mountains so hopefully able to forget things for a bit.