in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #190 — Butterboy

Two weeks away on a business trip is always a little too long. By the middle of the second week I’m always homesick, fed up of eating out for every meal. A privileged problem, I know, but it’s real all the same.

It felt like a very successful week. We on-boarded a new team member in New York and enjoyed getting to know him. We’ve been getting him up to speed with who we are, what we do and how we do it. Our office is a small but important hub for our company; various CEOs kept appearing in person throughout the course of the week.

I’ve been in love with New York since I lived there many years ago. But it now feels like a city which is going through a big change as a result of the pandemic. This is probably reflective of the wider world, felt more intensely here because of how compact everything is. Being in the city for two weeks got me thinking about how living in a particular place can influence your life; my lack of an indoor bike trainer and a five minute commute meant that I finished my trip with a gigantic podcast backlog. I had no time on a train to write. Running in Central Park was fun, but a few early morning meetings and quite a bit of rain meant that I didn’t get as much exercise as I would have liked. But I could quite easily be at the office for 7am, something that would be a struggle at home.

It was great to get on board the plane and head home again.

This was a week in which I:

  • Marvelled at how the working population of New York approached a federal public holiday. Although Columbus Day is a controversial celebration, I didn’t expect to see quite as many people heading into the office as I did.
  • Continued interviewing candidates for our IT role in New York.
  • Joined the weekly project meeting for closing one of our regional offices.
  • Reviewed our draft submission to the annual Operational Risk review process.
  • Welcomed our SD-WAN vendor as guest presenters at our weekly Learning Hour session. Their product is superb and keeps getting better at a rapid rate.
  • Agreed in principle to taking a radically different approach to a new Internet link in one of our offices.
  • Reviewed responses from vendor to our on-boarding questionnaire. Had a meeting with them to discuss the roadmap for their product given some recent industry news.
  • Agreed to take a look at whether Miro could be useful for our work.
  • Pondered how expertise manifests itself as knowing what part of a process or methodology you can leave out, as well as why it works in particular cases but not others.
  • Went for drinks with our local IT vendor in New York, on the 41st floor of the Aliz Hotel. It was a good opportunity to meet a number of their other clients.

  • Caught up with the family finances and processed all of my trip expenses.
  • Reviewed the recruitment materials we intend to use to find a new Headteacher for our school. I’m hoping that there are some great candidates out there for whom our school would be a perfect next step.
  • Had a great night out in Brooklyn with my boss, who was in town for a short visit. After seeing Jo Firestone last week at Friend of the Show!, I booked tickets to see her team up with Maeve Higgins and Aparna Nancherla as hosts of the Butterboy comedy night. I have absolutely no idea why it is called that. It was a giggle.

  • Tried to commit to my MUBI subscription by watching more films. The Worst Person In The World (2021) is a Norwegian romantic drama that is well worth a look.
  • Continued watching How To with John Harris. A beautiful, funny dialogue set to ephemeral videos mainly in New York City.
  • Kept noticing Adam Brisbin everywhere. He played an amazing gig with Indigo Sparke last week and his name stuck in my head. I’ve since spotted him on the cover of Wilder Maker’s Zion album as well as in the writing credits for two of the songs on Katie Von Schleicher’s brilliant Consummation.
  • Refereed my eldest son’s U16 football match. I’m not particularly confident — or particularly great — at the job, but if volunteering means that the match can go ahead then I’m happy to do it. There seems to be a shortage of referees at the moment, which is a shame.

Next week: Back to our office in London and back to my happy place of my office at home.

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