A regular, busy week. Colleagues recently remarked how people seem to be falling ill after business trips. So it was with me. On Monday I felt as though I had a bit of a cold coming on. It was a long-lost, familiar feeling that I haven’t had for a few years —probably thanks to social distancing and squirrelling myself away during the pandemic. We had an office social event that evening which I didn’t feel well enough to attend. Tuesday and Wednesday I spent working from home, armed with hot lemon and paracetamol, and a big supply of tissues. By Wednesday evening I had started to feel a lot better, making it back into the office at the end of the week.
It was interesting to see my heart rate on the bike trainer when I got back in the saddle on Friday and Saturday; it was a bit higher than usual and took longer to recover than before.
Despite feeling a bit under the weather I felt as though I managed to get focused and get things done. There’s a mountain to climb, but I’m climbing it.
This was a week in which I:
- Welcomed a new member to my team in London. It’s taken months to get him on board. I’m so glad he had the patience to join us. He brings a bunch of experience and skills to the team that we don’t already have. We’re going to do great things.
- Had meetings with our regional CEO and COO to go through our signature programme that focuses on digital product initiatives. We’ve practiced the narrative through a number of these meetings and it’s interesting to see, and to show, how the dots all join up. There is an enthusiasm around the work which we need to capitalise on. Feedback was excellent and gave us some new perspectives to think about.
- Had the weekly project meeting for the closure of one of our offices. I spent time trying to decouple the work we need to do in the IT team from the real estate/lease discussions. A final timeline is beginning to emerge.
- Met to review the list of contracts associated with the office that we are closing down.
- Joined colleagues from the Office of the CEO, People and Culture, and Communications and Marketing, to talk through where we are with plans for promoting sustainable careers and digital literacy.
- Met with Operational Risk to discuss this year’s self-assessment process.
- Had a late night interview with a candidate for our vacancy in New York.
- Gave a walkthrough of our digital signage platform to a member of the Marketing and Communications team, and gave them access to make their own updates.
- Met with a colleague to discuss where we are with enabling collaboration across Microsoft 365 tenants between two of our group companies.
- Validated and closed out a change to our voice recording system with the Compliance team.
- Enjoyed an office lunch where we celebrated Heritage Day. In our offices in South Africa, staff are encouraged to come to work in their ‘traditional’ dress. I find it interesting that for my own culture, I was already in what we consider to be our traditional dress. It got me thinking about how the suit has been adopted by so many different countries as the ‘standard’.
- Enjoyed a well-timed and excellently delivered Learning Hour talk by a colleague called Get To Know Lesotho. Two people in the session admitted to not even having previously been aware of Lesotho as a country. I would love to visit one day.
- Had two lovely random coffees with colleagues in our Compliance and Client Coverage teams.
- Felt discombobulated as we had our first early morning all-team meeting. For the past few years they have always been on Friday afternoon, but we have started to alternate so that a colleague in Beijing can join them occasionally. It was lovely to have him there.
- Went for a thorough health screening, provided by my employer. I don’t have my results yet but everything seemed good.
- Migrated my whole family from Dashlane to 1Password. There are usability issues in Dashlane that have been outstanding for years, whereas 1Password seems to have come on in leaps and bounds since I last looked at it. The whole migration process took about half an hour. I haven’t noticed any issues so far.
- Spent time playing with DALL-E 2 and having my mind blown. Started thinking about the general use case of AI beyond creating pictures.
- Had my mind blown by the Internet once again, finding myself emailing back and forth with Katie Von Schleicher as she recommended New York venues and shows to me. It’s the simple connections that we make through the technology that still dazzles me.
- Watched another couple of episodes of season two of Only Murders In The Building. It’s a brilliant show, making me laugh out loud with every episode.
- Finally got around to watching the documentary about Alexei Navalny. Despite knowing some of the story, at points it was absolutely jaw-dropping. It was striking to see so many people out in support of him. Are they still as vocal given everything that has happened since Navalny’s arrest? It must be a terrifying place to be if you disagree with the regime.
- Enjoyed a lovely meal out with my family. It had been a while since just the four of us had gone out, so it was great to catch up.
Next week: Coming to America part two.