First Week Back at Work: Day 4
I'm aware that I still rely on coping strategies a lot for my memory. I still haven't sussed the NLP building layout - it's taking way too long, but I'm determined not to stress over it. I still do way too much reassurance checking for my wallet, phone, etc. I'm unable to wait to do stuff, if it's in my mind I just have to do it. It's not simply a fear of forgetting things as I have coping mechanisms for that, I simply can't relax until 'it's done'.
I had a 0600 alarm to start work today, it felt "good". Not because I enjoy early get ups, but because I'd slept really well and a 0600 get up would be me facing the normal challenge of dealing with normal stuff. I have to massively review emails and texts before sending, every time I find tons of errors, not just in grammar but even saying things like "future" when I meant to say "past". My coping works well as I am fantastically disciplined now on messaging, so my quality of messaging is probably far better than it ever was.
Love and respect - everyone focuses on the former but... I guess Maggot loves his mum, but he certainly doesn't respect her. I think of how Ruth has cared for mum, out of love but also respect. I know that Ruth knows I'd do the same for Jean - not just out of love, but deep respect.
On Monday on my journeys I'd do a lot of thinking "How much further to go?", by yesterday I was so much more relaxed with a calmness about me. I don't now look up to see "How much further?" - I just accept it's gonna take a bit of time. A young Asian guy at Notting Hill asked me about how to get to Earls Court. I knew he knew, but he just wanted reassurance - it felt nice to help. When I got out at Vauxhall instinct told me to turn right to go through the underpass. Yet bizarrely, coming out of the NLP office I still don't know whether to turn left or right to go to the toilet - after three days of being there (not the toilet!). As usual now, I just accept it and don't let it stress me - it works. I had a croissant at the same gay cafe as I did on my first ever Met day - I also had breakfast tea in a tall glass! The only pity is that I won't be asking for Paul S at EDH! I had a strange Evernote error where it seemed I may have lost two days of note taking on my iPhone. I did the off / on thing which didn't fix the problem, but didn't stress. Hey ho, twenty minutes later I recovered stuff from the cloud on my iPad - no drama. Ironically this happened just before I was gonna write the following message "I'm so glad I've kept up my annual Evernote subscription when I was considering chopping it to cut "non-essential expenditure". I observed that I have to do a lot of hanging on the roof rails / straps with my left hand on the tube, I simply didn't notice. Now that I'm consciously thinking about it there is some slight discomfort - but on a general level my mind must just ignore it - great stuff. I know I'm spending more time than necessary making these diary entries, but I know what joy my Scatico diary gives me 25 years on, this will be similar.
KSC: Firstly, and most importantly, Paul S was there. It was great to meet up and see that he hasn't changed - although he had scared me on a text earlier this week when he suggested when we meet that we go for a coffee. Paul S is a beer monster, so I suspect it must have been sarcasm. We were in a KSC so we were a bit limited in how we chatted, but it felt really nice just to be with my bessie MPS mate - I think the feeling was mutual. Keith W made so many fundamental mistakes it was laughable, I saw Paul's eyeballs roll so much I thought they were gonna fall out. Paul had done a number of these KSCs successfully in my absence using my scripts. Keith came to the stage where he had to do the certutil backup and it didn't work, he simply said "It just doesn't work" - the implication being that my scripts were at fault. I kept quiet in line with my pledge to myself to only help if asked - and the Met Police / DXC relationship is still something I don't fully grasp. Paul looked at the computer and said "Is ADCS stopped?" - Keith responded with "I don't think it needs to be running". Paul's response was "I've done this several times and it's worked perfectly well every time, did it tell you in the (my) scripts to stop ADCS?" There was continued dialogue around this, with Keith saying "It shouldn't matter" (without once acknowledging that he had actually stopped ADCS out-of-band of the script instructions) and Paul responding with "do what it tells you in the scripts, it's what they're there for!" I resisted the urge to say something along the lines of "One of the biggest values of a KSC is to do the job in a very strict, disciplined way (so we maintain a high level of assurance) - exactly as the instructions set it out; if something then crops up that wasn't excepted it should be recorded and reviewed as an exception".
Paul in his Bradford self was getting more and more forceful, the bottom line was that Keith had stopped ADCS and it needed to be restarted (and all the OCS card rigmarole gone through) to do the backup. Superficially Keith and my problem appears to be based on a technical imbalance (where I'm perceived as an SME and Keith needing a bit of IT buddy help), but the truth is that has nowt to do with it. I clearly resent working alongside a liar and while I can cope with it (I'm a professional after all) I can't say I like it. The biggest insight this morning though was the train back to NLP with Andy (i15) and Rob (DXC). Rob was furious because he had to miss an important hospital appointment with his wife because of this unnecessary KSC, which he correctly perceived as being because Keith was so disorganised and technically inept (even with me out of the picture, one simple call to Paul S would have resolved matters since he had done this several times). We chatted for a good while about various project issues and hardly any technology was discussed, all the issues were around politics / partnerships / procedures / personalities, etc. (I guess I could call this the 4Ps). I've learned a lot more about the political landscape - which will be essential for me to achieve anything and get something done.
On returning home to Stoke, the biggest shock was the car parking charge, I used to pay £8 a day... so typically a £32 fee. Now it is £48 for four days... bloomin' 'eck. Ruth got home about 6pm, it was absolutely lovely to see her - just putting my arms around her and hugging her was special. Our first three nights away from each other since leaving Haywood, I so miss her and love her. And her food ain't bad, she made a lovely pasta dish, with a gorgeous sauce and tasty bacon and chicken toppings. I had three meals out in restaurants during the week, and none of them were within a mile of the quality of what Ruth had "just done for tea". We chatted in the summer house about my first week back - we normally would chat on the decking, but we needed privacy from meddling neighbours. I saw mum at about 2100 and she looked and chatted fantastic. I know mum had a lot of drama this week with the problems around her GP appointment, and then having the LifeLine installed, so I was not expecting mum to be just so brilliant. A bit like with Ruth I haven't seen mum for three full days - so it was a really big deal to see her again. Big hugs feel really special. I'm looking forward to coming back down tomorrow and helping out with mum's venture on the scooter and sorting out the GP issues we have.
Follow this link for the diary of my fifth day back at work.