A really tough week where I felt completely drained right from the start, and this time it didn’t improve as the days went on. My emotions were sapped. Partially it felt like I had caught some kind of bug but I also wondered whether I had just been overdoing it with all of the bike training and was just generally worn out. I had a completely exercise-free day on Friday and felt much better for it afterwards. I had so many meetings that it wasn’t until Wednesday afternoon that I felt that my time was my own again.
A week in which I…
- Took part in a technical workshop for our new phone system setup in New York. It’s good to finally get this one properly underway and to have some next actions written down.
- Met with our on-the-ground IT partner in Dubai to review a long list of changes and ‘snagging’ items that we need to tackle.
- Kicked off the rollout of new laptops to staff in our Beijing office. This is our final site for our rollout, and we’re doing it one year after finishing London, our first site.
- Received a last minute proposal for a telephony solution in São Paulo that looks too good to be true, so I’m doing all of the things I can to make sure it that it isn’t the case before we dive in.
- Took part in a number of preliminary discussions with different departments in London on their upcoming move of documents (‘unstructured data’) into a new platform.
- Reviewed the materials for a new training course on the unstructured data project that we plan to roll out to our London team.
- Had a catch-up with our key IT partner in London. We hadn’t spoken in a while and it was good to get aligned again.
- Admired our CTO as he took part in a Computerworld panel discussion on data centre modernisation.
- Agreed to move some of our key meetings to the afternoons so that our New York team members can participate. I’m really looking forward to them becoming a more integrated part of what we do.
- Basked in a little bit of internal glory as our team were given an award at the Group-wide IT awards event. I’ve loved working in this team for the past few years and we’ve really achieved some great things to make a big difference to the organisation.
- Found the ‘build’ phase of TrainerRoad really challenging, although I do realise that this is probably the point. I’m almost halfway through this phase and have a low-intensity ‘recovery week’ next week to look forward to before it ramps up again.- Spent some time at the weekend doing minutes again. I really need to try and work out how to get these done during the week.
- Attended a National Governance Association webinar on what school governing boards need to start thinking about and doing ahead of the autumn term.
- Called Virgin Media to start a new Sky Sports subscription ahead of the F1 season. Managed to negotiate an 18-month contract at a reduced rate with a new ‘V6’ TV box thrown in for free. It’s always better to phone them up. Activating the box was a little bit painful; I had to diagnose that my Pi-Hole was preventing it from reaching a URL that seemed to only be known to the Virgin Media DNS servers. I put the box to good use over the weekend through enjoying the Austrian Grand Prix; it’s so great to have the racing back again.
- Enjoyed my amazing prize for winning our team quiz night last week. My family and I have made light work of this over the past few days!
- Finished reading Biko by Donald Woods. I’d had it on my bookshelf for a long time and was drawn to it as the Black Lives Matter protests got some momentum. A big chunk of the book is taken up with what happened at the inquest into Biko’s death, which seemed less important when reading it 42 years after it was published. The old, racist, South African government is now consigned to museums and memory. What I did find interesting was his philosophy of Black Consciousness:
Biko saw white racism in South Africa as the totality of the white power structure. He argued that under apartheid, white people not only participated in the oppression of black people but were also the main voices in opposition to that oppression. He thus argued that in dominating both the apartheid system and the anti-apartheid movement, white people totally controlled the political arena, leaving black people marginalised. He believed white people were able to dominate the anti-apartheid movement because of their access to resources, education, and privilege. He nevertheless thought that white South Africans were poorly suited to this role because they had not personally experienced the oppression that their black counterparts faced.
- For my sanity and emotional wellbeing I need to intersperse some fiction into my reading. I’m continuing the journey through Steinbeck’s works that I started last year by picking up The Long Valley.
Next week: Trying to focus on those things that will make or break us in terms of hitting our agreed deadlines.