Weeknotes #86–87 — It’s always Friday

Life goes by so fast right now. It has become a running joke in the team that it is “always Friday”. This is good in the sense that the weekend keeps turning up quickly but bad in the sense that you always wonder what just happened and how you didn’t get the things done that you wanted to.

A couple of weeks in which I:

  • Was up at 3:45am again for a day of working with the team in our Beijing office. We had a good result in that we have increased our capacity for wired devices, improved redundancy in our Internet/WAN connections and have re-established videoconferencing in some of our meeting rooms.
  • Met with the CEO of one of our International offices to discuss some of the networking problems they have been having. It’s a human trait to just work around problems without fuss, so our main focus was on emphasising reporting them so that we can investigate further.
  • Decided to take a few days off over the coming week while the boys are off school. I feel like I’ve hit a productivity wall and need a bit of rest, having only taken the odd day off here and there since January. I am not sure how much three days away from the keyboard will help, but it’s better than nothing.
  • Agreed a draft role spec for an IT support team member in Beijing. Will now need a crash course in Chinese employment law to see if hiring a temp is the same as it is in our other offices.
  • Got pulled into helping out with a flagship annual event run out of our São Paulo office, which like so many other events this year has gone virtual.
  • Continued to scratch my head at a large company-wide transformation initiative. I keep attending meetings where everyone seems to be running forward, and I feel like I’m the only one where I don’t understand what the destination is yet. People are willing to talk and share their views, and I am gaining knowledge with every interaction, but I am a few iterations away from truly understanding it.
  • Continued interviews for the role of Head of Infrastructure and Operations in our team. I am hopeful that we’ll have the right person in the team soon who can make a big difference for all of us.
  • Struggled to get to emails again. But people are learning that it is definitely not the best way to get hold of me.
  • Had a lovely ‘random coffee’ with an intern in our São Paulo office. There’s nothing like meeting someone literally half your age to make you feel old.
  • Attended my first Microsoft 365 UK user group meeting. Really impressed by the quality of the speakers and the materials. I’ve been reading Joanne C Klein’s blog for a while so it was great to hear her talk. The topic was Protecting Your Teamwork Across Microsoft 365, and gave an excellent overview of the tools available in the platform. The whole session is available on YouTube. I’ll be joining the next one.

  • Set up and ran our school Pay Committee meeting. Virtual Governor meetings seem to be so efficient compared to when they are face-to-face. Once things are ‘back to normal’ we need to look at why.
  • Attended my youngest son’s football match where for the first time this season I didn’t have a job to do. I think I have been the only mask-wearer at all of the events so far this year, and can’t believe how close the parents from all teams stand to each other.
  • Finished reading Normal People by Sally Rooney. A good book, but I wish I had read it before seeing the TV adaptation, as the two were virtually identical.
  • Had my running judder to a halt after pulling a calf muscle on a Monday morning run. It’s so strange how you can be doing nothing different to any other day, on a route you have run lots of times, and suddenly have a problem. I was limping for a couple of days but still managed to get on the bike as it seems that I only use that muscle for running and not riding.
  • Joined 100 other people for Helena Deland’s debut album launch party. Online gigs don’t come anywhere close to being there in real life, particularly in terms of sound quality, but it was nice to give some support and feel like part of a little community.

  • Finished watching The Haunting of Bly Manor with my wife. Properly scary in places with characters that you really get to know. Great series.
  • Continued our family movie ‘round robin’ with my choice of The General (1926), which to my surprise everyone seemed to really enjoy. Taking it in turns between the four of us to pick movies has been great; we get some forced family time where we’re sharing things and not just all off consuming media on our own every night. I’ve watched so many films that I wouldn’t have picked myself, and for the most part they’ve all been enjoyable.
  • Loved watching the F1 race at Portimao in Portugal over the past weekend.

Next week: A couple of days’ work and then a few days off. Trying to get our networks up to scratch in our two most remote offices, and hoping that things go well for our conference in Brazil. Trying to balance the myriad of items on the backlog with the need to get my head up and look at the bigger picture.

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