S01 E10

The Dragon and the Wolf

This is the season finale. There are a couple of story arcs budding and some that will be closed off-screen. Those reading the book of my daily life have long since given up yelling at the producer’s additions, subtractions, and poetic license and are instead now enjoying the Easter eggs thrown in as knowing winks to a shared joke.

This season came at a grotesquely perfect moment. I was in the right place professionally, the right job was advertised, the timing came together seamlessly. The whole thing seems engineered in sitcom land. On reflection, I’ve enjoyed other weeknoters’ writing more: their truths resonate all the louder with me because I know they are in the past of my life — or the future.

There’s going to be a short hiatus. Meeting with my fellow weeknoters I realised that for all of us these notes have been an outlet. They’re quasi-private and, for me, have been a sort of passive aggressive means of effecting change. For an introvert like me, unable to come up with a fully-formed idea in the confines of a noisy meeting, it’s an opportunity to talk about change I’d like to make. A rehearsal for the real thing.

But next season I’ll be moving into a role where I’ve got access to all the levers. I can’t grouse that management aren’t fixing things, because that’s me now. I’ve got to put in place a culture of openness such that everyone I work with will be willing and able and feel supported to join this brilliant, vibrant, extelligent[0] community. I hope you’ll continue to join me as I try, fail, and try again. I hope you’ll continue to be supportive, kind, and helpful.

If nothing else, I hope you continue to encourage me to drink four caipirinhas on a school night and talk about Doing Good late into the evening.

Monday was spent in absolutely back to back meetings and concluded with a visit to Monroe, a smallish client with an interesting new proposition. I also lined up further client meetings. Only one item went onto my promise tracker, which probably reflects the frantic nature of my day. As a sidenote, this tracker is turning up some genuinely valuable data. Even though I’m on hiatus next week, I may push something out via twitter.

On Tuesday I took two new starters on a whistlestop tour of our software, both front and back. The new starters work for our sister company, and will be using our software day-to-day. Presenting it to staff gives me an opportunity to see it through fresh eyes and helps again to identify areas we need to work on. It was really nice to meet them and to get a handle on how we’ll manage — remote staff working as account managers is a model I’d like to adopt in the near future.[1] I met Morgan in the afternoon and had an extremely positive discussion with some good pointers for me. We talked about the future, and nihilism, and why it is that us millennials feel entitled to things like nice colleagues, remote working, and a work-life balance.[2]

Wednesday I had giant, hour-long stretches of uninterrupted time and consequently got loads done. I spent an hour analysing and commenting on a shared process document, then reviewed and commented on it with the CEO of the company that supplies our developers. His guidance is really valuable and he’s totally open to trying out new ways of working. My director and I finally booked travel, so we’re going to go out and see the team in late September. I’m hugely excited to get into a room and talk about containerisation, software architecture, and automating deployment into cloud infrastructure.

They’re based in Spain, which means it’ll be unconscionably hot, but as long as there’s air conditioning I’m sure I’ll be fine.

I also got to meet some of the other members of the #weeknotes family, and it was an absolute joy. It’s already been covered everywhere else, but my conclusions were:

  • two and a half drinks is just enough to spark conversations that are deep, connected, witty, reflective, and the best.
  • Three drinks is just enough to make you forget everything that was said half a drink ago but remember it was brilliant[3]
  • There are more ways through the Civil Service than I thought possible, and on reflection I don’t know if I’d do it again the way I did
  • #weeknotes is a glorious community and I’m proud to be part of it

On Thursday I was at a training session where I got to learn how to present confidently. Two things I was told to focus on where time-keeping and snappier titles. This was the original, apparently “unsnappy” title:

I don’t see it personally

So I tweaked it to:

and that got a better reaction. To be fair, the colour is a lot more exciting.

Friday I worked from home as I was throwing a little inner party an I wanted to log off at 5.30 and get cooking. In future, I’d like to be able to work from home without feeling like I need a reason — or, rather, without needing a special reason. S02 character arc sorted.

For those interested I made a steak and ale pie. I made too much of it. I will be eating it for the next week.

Fade to black.


Reading/Learning: Docker. Always Docker. But it’s meant I’ve drawn my first logical architecture diagram in a year, which is pleasing.

Listening: to trains not running over the next week, as I work from home to avoid the chaos at the London Terminals

[0] Extelligence is the intelligence that lives outside your head, and means your development can increase exponentially by accessing it.

[1] Remote work means our talent pool expands beyond those who live within the M25, and although London is still the greatest city in the world I am willing to accept there may be excellent candidates outwith its bounds.

[2] There is a connection between these things.

[3] This is widely understood to be the worst feeling in the world.

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