Thursday, 24 May 2012

Count down to exit

entailed more leaving 'dos' than you could shake a stick at - 2 of which ended up the following morning!! As well as a whole heap of work.

Instead of it being a gradual slow-down to the last day things really ramped-up as people realised I wasn't going to be there any more, so there were a stack of last tasks. In addition a number of bids with ridiculously short deadlines and quirky requirements materialised, plus the contract in Libya started to go decidedly pear-shaped so there was a "do we pull out or give it one final go?" which involved numerous tlong-distance telephone conferences. In the end the level of manic-ness was enough to convince me I've done the right thing getting out.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


has left the building!!! The surgical attachment known as 'BlackBerry' has been successfully removed and she is no longer married to the job! :o)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Keeping up with the Craic Dealer

is no mean feat. Dara O'Briain delivered a frenetic and hilariously funny set that was, almost entirely for the first half, made up from the occupations of the Wolverhampton Civic Hall front row. He was an absolute master at audience banter who seriously impressed me with his ability to turn a brief interaction with Joe Public into a snippet of hilarious observation - surely the mark of someone unbelievably quick witted. I was further amazed that he was able to recall this in the second half, not just repetitiously; sneaking in references in when you believe his tale is going in a totally different direction.
Dara is sharp enough to be able to make up on-the-spot one liners and intricately woven yarns, then bring them like a true raconteur covering everything from fireworks, to nativity plays, to burglary and astrology – all delivered at break-neck pace.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

I'll miss stuff like this...

that makes life less hum-drum.

Scenario... preparing for an interview with one of the senior managers who says....

"Give me a clue on questions. I’ll start with the usual...which Regiment were you in, which London Clubs are you a member of, which Lodge are you a member of, where do your children go to school, that sort of thing....
Maybe I could pose a few contemporary teasers as well:
‘You are in the Khyber pass, 2 days ride from Jalalabad, and short of fodder for the horses. Suddenly, 3,000 Pashtun Tribesmen descend from the heights and make towards your caravan. Armed only with a sharpened mango, what are your immediate actions on?
Seriously, give me a clue......."

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Learning the lingo & TLAs

(or 'Three Letter Acronyms' for the uninitiated)
Each time I've moved organisation I've had to learn a whole glossary of new abbreviations and try to dismiss any previous associations. Despite being given the thickest induction file I've seen in my life I've not yet started to indoctrinate myself into the new company's lingo.

I had enough issues with my current employer where the amount of militarism's was staggering. I did my best to adopt them and received responses like this:

"Point of form Ma’am. 'Ack' is the single most abused military abbreviation to pass from correct military usage into mangled civilian form. ACK is an instruction found at the bottom of a signal demanding the recipient acknowledge receipt of the same. This is not to be confused with ack-ack, an abbreviation for Anti-Aircraft fire which in turn is artillery designed to shoot upwards at aircraft. ACK is also contextual. When used by DoS it means Assistant cook.

I understand that Ack can be used as slang for acknowledgement of receipt but this is the thin end of the wedge. If we allow this sort of behaviour to pass unchecked the next thing you know we will be constructing Sangers with sandbags with the seams facing outwards. Seen it done. Completely unacceptable. Whole unit went to pot. "

Equally, when I tried to instruct them in the common vernacular/parlance....
"CBA? I can't work out what Combat Body Armour (CBA) has to do with anything."

That's 'cos it's 'Can't be arsed' (for those without teenagers)...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

'D' day

In the end I could procrastinate no more and have finally accepted the Head of Resourcing role with the company who approached me all those months ago. I will depart my current employer later this month. The irony is I am absolutely loving the job at the moment as there's so much interesting stuff to do. We're moving into a whole heap of new territories which brings with it all kinds of practical, cultural and commercial issues....precisely the sort of stuff I thrive on. That said, I have to concede that when it's bad, it's spectacularly bad, and as the saying goes, "there's no security in Security"....add to that the fact that other than the business unit in which I am based, there's nowhere I'd want to work in the wider organisation. So, it's off to Built Asset Management Consultancy I go! It was a tough decision...but almost to a man, all who've stuck their two-penneth in about the 'should I stay or should I go' saga have pointed out the new role is a huge opportunity, good for one's career and has obvious financial benefits.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Chocs away

One's not so small son who joined Air Cadets but a month or so ago, has just come back from RAF Cosford having been allowed to take the controls on his first ever flight!!! It seems as an organisation they are certainly living up to their moto...His instructor let him take control of the aircraft and he was taught how to yaw, loop and roll!!!

To quote "it was amazing"

.... all I could think was glad he's not taken after me or he'd have been chucking up!!!