Archive for October, 2005

I’m off to see my client first thing tomorrow morning, so I’m spending the night in London tonight.

Well, if I’ve got to spend the night in London, I might as well enjoy myself. So I decided to ring my friend Graeme, who agreed to meet me for dinner.

All Bar One, Chiswick

Had a few quick beers before dinner, then braved the pouring rain to get to an Italian place near him.

Not much of a story, is it?

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Woke up early this morning to spend a day with my new client in Uxbridge, not far from our offices in Egham or my hotel near Heathrow. After a little disagreement with the GPS system in the car (which wanted to take me into the middle of the countryside), I finally found the client site:

Client site

I’ll be working here for the next few months, until February or March 2006. We started today with a kick-off workshop. Don’t we look productive with our yellow stickies, collaborating and building buy-in from our customers?

Workshop output

Actually, all kidding aside, I enjoy workshops. They’re a lot of work to put together, but generally yield lots of good stuff in a very short period of time, if they’re run successfully. They’re also a nice change from the routine of paperwork and Powerpoint presentations.

Oh yeah. And I get to use magic markers and draw a lot. And scissors. They even let me use the scissors on workshop day.

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Well, it’s taken me a while to update the website, but I’ve finally had a chance to go through my phone and pull out a few more photographs. Back at the hotel this evening, but managed to talk myself into one of the new rooms with a sleigh bed and renovated bathroom…

Sheraton Heathrow - Sleigh Bed

Sheraton Heathrow - bathroom 1

Sheraton Heathrow - bathroom 2

The poor receptionist didn’t even realise that there were two different types of upgraded rooms — so I decided to prove that I was the saddest corporate traveller out there. I took pictures to show her the difference between this room and the other executive room, which isn’t nearly as nice. Apparently they’re classified the same way, so you’ve got to request it by room number.

I really need to get out of the house more often.

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Well, I survived my first day at the office. I played nicely with all the other children, and no one stole my milk money. I spent most of the first day doing normal first-day things – figuring out where everything is, reading the internal website, redesigning my resume so it fits their in-house style, and drinking too much coffee as I meet everyone.

I’m not crazy about the commute, but it looks like I won’t have to do it too often. The actual office is really nice. It’s relatively new and really well-thought-out. They’ve given me a snazzy new laptop, but some of the typical consultant drawbacks are still there – I still don’t have a desk of my own.

Axon building

My new office

AxonCentre sign

I’ll spend most of this week settling in, taking care of all the administrative details that starting a new job entails, and getting my head around the projects that I’ll be working on. It looks like I’ll be working on two projects right now, one internal and one external, which should keep me busy until March.

This much is clear — they operate at a different pace here than they did at my old organisation. And for the first time in more than two years, I’ve worn a suit to work.

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He’s in the Sheraton Hotel at Heathrow Airport, that’s where he is. Yes, another night in a generic airport hotel…

Sheraton Heathrow

Worse still, I’m paying for the hotel out of my own pocket — something that I haven’t done in a very, very long time! Still, I decided that I needed to be well-rested for my first day at Axon, and I didn’t fancy getting up at 5am to beat the traffic on the way in.

They’ve sent up a basket of fruit and a bottle of wine. Wasn’t that nice of them?

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It’s official. For the first time since I moved into my new place back in May, I’ve had to turn on the heat. No thermostat here, so it’s an on-or-off affair.

I seem to have set it to “Hades”.

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