Long Time between Drinks

Presenting…

It has been a long time since my last post. I have not much for an excuse other than being busy at work.

I foolishly volunteered to do a 45 minute presentation slot at DevCamp which was held this past 17th – 19th in Terrigal at a hotel. It is great to work for a company that values the less tangible benefits of its whole Engineering department taking a 3 day hiatus to brainstorm together and inspire each other.

Preparing my presentation took more time than anticipated. As always, I went stupidly ambitious with my concept and then followed through. I had to dig through 2-3 years of Incident Reports and Weekly Engineering Meeting notes for my raw materials, and put together a presentation on how we could leverage what we are learning there more effectively. Despite having had no time to practice the presentation itself, it was a great success on the day. And miraculously it dovetailed into 2-3 other presentations at the camp without even trying.

As a matter of fact, I have to say, the quality of all the presentations was remarkable.

Now. I may have gotten myself into some more trouble by volunteering to submit my presentation for a public conference later in the year. I won’t say more than that just yet… but it’ll be both exciting and terrifying (and a lot of extra work to adapt the content) if that comes off.

Personal Loss

Over the same quiet period we sadly lost our eldest fur-baby; Obie.

ChristmasObie

He was a lovely rescue from the Animal Welfare League, and came with a great mix of quirks and qualities. We got him at the “ripe old age” of 4, and when he passed away 2 weeks and 1 day ago, he was 17 (I believe).

SuppliesObie

Although since his passing it has become obvious he was the source of a lot of the mess around the house. He and Amber were definitely not equal partners in the hairball and peeing department. Still, he made more than up for it with his cuddly nature. I’ll always remember him in winter crawling under the blanket and sticking his head out on the pillow lying on his side… like the proper human he was.

ComputerObie

He is irreplaceable, so I’m not even going to try.

ObieAndBron

Day 211 – Working Late

Wednesday is always the biggest blur of my work-week.

Wednesday is one-on-one catch-ups day with my staff. I only have 5 staff to worry about, but at 30 minutes each that takes about 3 hours out of my day all-up.

Doing one-on-ones right is so far the biggest benefit I’ve gotten from listening to the Manager Tools podcast. It’s not that it is particularly hard to regularly catch up with staff, but a good understanding of what it is actually for and how it helps does direct me better in getting the most out of those 3 hours in my week.

Picking the right day also makes a big difference. Middle-of-the-week works particularly well because there’s enough time before Wednesday for staff to achieve some things, and enough time after Wednesday for us all to take further actions based on what we discuss.

Adding in another 2 small meetings basically left my whole day looking like Swiss Cheese.

I wish there was an interesting story somewhere in all this, because basically my brain is fried. And I still have a presentation to write and some research to do before tomorrow morning… as well as an early start at the office. *groan*