in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #229 — Dismantled

Generated by DALL-E 2. Almost like looking in a mirror.

Generated by DALL-E 2. Almost like looking in a mirror.

This week felt stressful. For the first time in a long while, I cancelled my attendance at an after work in-person event as I felt that I had too much on my plate. At the weekend, my wife told me that she’d noticed that I’d been a bit snappy. It was good to reach the weekend and catch up with a couple of extra hours of sleep.

This was a week in which I:

  • Worked with the team on a couple of rare production issues with one of our desktop applications. There is no substitute to going through the problems forensically, step-by-step, and writing down something that people can either challenge or agree with. Specificity of language is so important. We have a temporary fix in place for now.
  • Continued coordinating the one-to-one appointments to on-board staff to our password manager. We are reaching the tail end of the initial rollout and need to turn our attention to those people that signed up to create an account but haven’t fully adopted it yet.
  • Made progress with a vendor on-boarding process. Created the outline of a draft contract for the work we hope to get started with this year.
  • Met with a colleague to discuss next week’s working group meeting for a project that we are running. Spent a few hours on Sunday getting some diagrams out of my head and onto something that we can use in the meeting.
  • Discussed plans for technology changes to three of our internal meeting rooms. The work will simplify the technology setup as well as give a better end-user experience.
  • Met with the cross-functional team working on one of our pioneering client-facing projects to check where we are and agree next steps.
  • Continued work with my team on moving us towards getting a roadmap in place.
  • Had the bi-monthly Information Risk Steering Group meeting.
  • Hosted our weekly Learning Hour with guest speakers from our Foreign Exchange Technology team.
  • Attended two Generative AI working group meetings.
  • Had one-on-one meetings with a couple of members of our team that I don’t usually speak to day-to-day.
  • Continued to plan the facilitation of an online team social event next week.
  • At my team’s ‘standup’ meeting on Friday morning, I asked them “what is the one thing that you’re committing to finishing today?” It felt like a simple but powerful question. We’ll check in on Monday to see how we did.
  • Met with our school Chair of Governors along with colleagues at HFL Education to talk about school governance in general.
  • Caught up with our school’s incoming Headteacher who is due to start in September.
  • Completed formal interviews for two potential school governors, one of whom is looking to come back to the board after a 20 year absence.
  • Worked on end-of-term draft letters to staff and parents.
  • Bowed out of the Saturday morning cycling club ride due to the threatened rainmaggeddon. I love going out with the club, but I was secretly relieved that I wouldn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn for a sixth day in a row. Despite the threat of bad weather cancelling sporting events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, all of the cyclists reported that their ride was dry and “not too windy”.
  • Ate out at Per Tutti in Berkhamsted to celebrate our youngest boy turning 14. Delicious as always. I remember being that age and talking to my mum about how birthdays didn’t feel as magical as they did in the past.
  • Got the car serviced and MOT tested. (I had to check that sentence as I assumed the ‘T’ meant test and I didn’t want to commit a ‘RAS syndrome’ error. The acronym actually stands for ‘Ministry of Transport’, a defunct government department. Who knew?)
  • Dismantled an old chest of drawers that we had bought from Ikea years ago. As I took it apart I found some forgotten temporary fixes that I’d made years before. Taking the furniture apart in a structured way is almost as laborious as putting it together.
  • Booked an airport taxi for our summer holiday. It made me realise that I’ve not travelled much this year. I’m fine with that.

Next week: More of the same.

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