Change of surroundings today. Headed into an office in central London for some training.
My current client runs a small bus service for staff between the office we are working at near Heathrow and their office near Paddington station. I hate this service. It takes far too long and makes me sick. No, really. I get travel sick easily. Not a good passenger. The buses do feel somewhat thrown around and I get the distinct impression that the drivers really do not want to be doing the job. So, whenever possible, I avoid this service and use the train.
Using the train though presents one simple issue: how to get to the station. The easiest answer is to park in the client car-park and then take a regular service bus to the station. These bus trips are rather shorter that the client bus service and less troublesome to me. It does mean a little bit of hanging around at each end but as the frequent train services are much faster than a bus, I feel this is justified. I can use my laptop or read on the train – something I cannot do on a bus.
Usually, I like travelling on the Underground. No. Really. If I do not have much to carry, I enjoy seeing so many people forced together and like to observe the interaction between them. However, the Underground does not service the disabled community well (I am a de facto member at the moment because of my knee problems). I have to use the taxis to between stations and offices. On the Underground I can read (papers of documents on my PDA) but I cannot read in a taxi. Generally, the journeys are short so this is not a problem.
I got to one of my company offices in good time for breakfast and to catch up with a few people before signing in to check what was going on. Not much of great import – lots of trivial stuff that just needed a little push.
The training was great. Haven’t done any for a long time (must do something about that). It was not detailed learning, rather more a sharing of current knowledge and protocols on interviewing potential recruits to the business – something I want to help out on more than I have done for a while. Good exchange of experience – as is usually the way when you get a bunch of people from very different projects together.
Afterwards, there was time to catch up with someone who joined the company recently – I am his "buddy" to help him navigate through life in the first 100 days or so. Another arm of support outside of his immediate management and project structures. He is a really nice guy and seems very capable. He came in as an experienced hire and so little has phased him – I was able to use shorthand for most things (he gets it). Should be a great asset to the firm. Always good to hear – may be working with him, doing a job he helps secure, not to mention benefiting from positive share-price impact.
I had stacked up a number of weird problems throughout the project so took the time to meet up with some personal internal contacts to bounce things off of them. I did this partly as a sanity check for myself and also to get some additional ideas on what to do about the problems. It is good to be able to brainstorm a few things – we do not get to do it on the project anywhere near often enough (I probably should do something about this).
Shock of all shocks, I was able to leave central London at a sensible time, get back to my car and head for home. Thus, this gets written at a motorway service station whilst enjoying a decent coffee having checked my work email and responded accordingly.