Friday, 1 June 2012

What a week

It has been a very intense few days. Our Document needed to be completed, reviewed, printed and submitted in an electric and hard copy format to our prospective client by Friday. I think it fair to say that on Tuesday this looked like trying to win the Tour de France on a three year old's tricycle. This is how the week went ...

Tuesday
On Tuesday I hauled my backside out of bed at six in the morning and 30% kindly dropped me at the Station in Evesham to catch the 6.50 in to Paddington. All being well, I should have been in the Office and typing plausible bullshit by half past nine. That was without the superb service provided by The London Underground. A journey that should have taken no more than twenty five minutes took me the best part of ninety and involved a diversion down the Victoria line to Stockwell, two separate trains on the northern Line got me almost back on track at Waterloo where I finally managed to join the Jubilee line for my destination of Southwark.

It is going to be chaos down there when an extra quarter of a million people are trying to use an already at  capacity system in an attempt to reach Olympic venues. I envision a scene like something from a post-apocalyptic movie where hostile, dead eyed natives with strange tribal markings prowl the tunnels feeding on the corpses of naive intruders in to their domain. To be honest its not far from that now.

The working day ran well in to the evening and it was eleven before I was checked in to my hotel and realised that I must change my profile in the travel tool as I was allocated a smoking room. I have smoked in seven or eight years and this was not a welcome end to a long day.

Wednesday
Wednesday started with me reaching the office a little after seven. I spent the entire day formulating client friendly responses about Dante's capabilities. There are a team of four or five of us doing this and each day is the same; we draft for most of the day then we review the latest iteration of the document and then we allocate the next batch of questions to be completed for the following day.

I actually managed to get back to the hotel for a late supper at around ten o'clock but there was a further hour at the keyboard before I crawled in to bed and slept the disturbed sleep of the wired person in a strange bed.

Thursday
This was "the big one"; our response needed to be delivered to the client by midday on Friday so today we needed to fill in all of the gaps, review as far as was humanly possible and then send it over for final formatting and printing.

Again I was in the office by seven with twice as much to complete today as I had managed yesterday. Breakfast and lunch were purchased from local shops and a pizza appeared on my desk at some point in the early evening. The only other breaks were frequent trips to the coffee machine to keep my frazzled brain functioning. By eleven in the evening I was just about there and my work was fired over to the individual compiling the document. A few last minute hitches and delays meant that it was a little after twelve before we wandered in to a conference room to view the results projected on to a screen.

At this point I should state that this was not as bad as it sounds and I have learnt a huge amount over the past week, not only about how to manage this process but also about Dante's capabilities and how to sell them to a client. I wouldn't mind doing another one of these ...

... not any time soon and definitely with a modified approach to the management of the task.

By now Thursday had become Friday and our night continued scanning page ofter page for obvious errors. We finished at around four in the morning and it was a cab back to the hotel for a couple of hours sleep.

Friday
The couple of hours sleep was awful. I was wired and tired and felt like I had the worst case of jet lag. I eventually fell asleep to wake ahead of the alarm at around seven o'clock. I packed and checked out of the hotel bumping in to Victor at the hotel reception.

Fatigue meant that neither of us had any desire for communication and we strap hung in silence as we headed back to the office.

Fortunately our work was done and all we were waiting for was the Publishers to complete the formatting of the document. Once they had finished we sent the file over to the printer to produce the hard copy and loaded an electronic version on to the Client's response dashboard ... by half past ten we were done and I was heading back towards Paddington for a train home.

30% collected me from the station accompanied by T&M and I sat in the back being enthusiastically greeted as only dogs can.

Once home it was back to bed for a an hour's kip in an attempt to feel slightly more human. I'm not sure that it worked but I was so looking forward to climbing back in to my own pit later that evening.




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