Four cups of coffee, three angry eMails, two Work meetings and an ulcer in my pear shaped body …

… and it’s only just ticked over to 08:00.

On the Work Front

Busy would be an understatement. My to-do manager (available in good-ol’ fashioned pen and paper format on my desk) has a current task list covering three A4 pages. Believe it or not, that means it has shrunk and I’m making headway.

My daily responsibilities are first and foremost to manage the requests for technical and solution architect services in the AMEA region. Up till now, this has been a combination of tediousness and frustration (in roughly equal measures) but nonetheless, achievable for the most part. The usual frustrations with herding cats is there – between herding the architectural cats to fill in their resource sheets, herding the project management cts to fill in their request forms, herding account general managers to follow processes, herding the new business mobs to stop screaming “urgent”, “critical” and “must win” every 15 microseconds … it’s crazy, frustrating and you learn to juggle multiple database and spreadsheet systems to get things in hand. However the push to the global resource management system is doing my furry little head in. Less functionality, less access and less control – but we all have to move to it and we all need to keep doing what we do with it. It will definitely add at least ten percent overhead to my tasks … and that’s after the initial change over mess settles down. Heck, we will all know about it in a week’s time when the entire organisation flips it over and the old systems get turned off.

C’est la vie.

On the extra curricula front, I have been working on the Architecture Study Hall educational portal. The section now covers a range of arenas, and it is starting to make some waves across the organisation that is translating in the occasional suggestion and interaction from other groups. The development of the Individual Development Plan educational patterns, rudimentary as they are, has been the biggest attraction by far and the work completed so far is being fed back into the Talent Transformation programme, presented to the global HR learning and Development council and to the local HR led initiative in regards to greater employee engagement. This has, in truth, actually created far more work for me outside of my “normal” operational expectancy, but it is something that I both believe in and think is important to try and maintain some momentum behind, even if that just means I am adding more items to the sled as I push it, and still have no dogs supplied to pull it. I hope though, that this will indeed change when I get to a point that helps tip it over the “that’s a great idea” to “oh, we need to not let that stop” bend.

Frustration (and subsequent ODD based obstinance) aside, the role is keeping me far more busy and actively engaged – and in all honesty, it has been a while since I could say that about my role – and people have actually come out of their way to say as much to me. It’s also a little more than ego-gratifying to have no fewer than three people ask me if I would be interested in either being seconded to a particular role or straight out moving to their department/division in the last few months. The sad part is that often it is accompanied by a comment about my current role’s responsibilities being “low value” or that my “talent is being wasted” or some other flippant deriding comment about the need for resource and capability management. They simply don’t get it.

What seems like a thankless tick and flick role to many is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. A good resource manager should be aware of not just who is available, but what their skills are, where their careers are going and what skills, competencies and experiences will fit in their comfort circle, but far more importantly, their anxiety circle. They should try and allocate them roles based on alternating between the two arenas of comfort and anxiety, they should seek to expand their skills, experience and careers and all of that whilst also meeting the needs of the customers and the requests coming in as they come in. Ideally, with a strategic planning element it is done months ahead of schedule … right now, it is far more reactionary and I still feel like I am a while away from achieving this, but I’m making headway. Having someone in the role who doesn’t believe that mission statement, who doesn’t work towards that goal is not what it needs, so I am not ready to hand over a process to “cheap labour resource” until those other elements are also able to be managed.

On the farm front:

I have had no time in the last three months to head up to the farm and get work done. It’s a good thing we got the cattle off at the beginning of the year, otherwise it could have been a real struggle for me. I need to plan a number of things to rejuvenate the soil, add fencing to make the grazing cells, clean out one of the dams and repair another … and hopefully all of that before summer.

On a personal front:

I’m tired. There’s a lot going on.

Mum had a laminectomy that meant the last few months have included a lot of hospital visits, booking her as an inpatient into a recovery centre for active physiotherapy and organising shopping and pre-made meals to stock the kitchen to alleviate the tasks and worry from her and dad’s head for a short time. Dad has been told he needs one too, but while mum is recovering, he refuses to even consider it. So, you know, obstinance is a family trait, I guess.

Ingrid was made redundant at the end of June. Having only been at her position for three years meant it was only a tiny payout and so we had to tighten belts as we hunkered down for her to find something new. She has accepted a 12 month role that is not exactly what she was after, but is strategic in that it allows her to work decent hours and refocus on developing her skills to meet the new demands of her role (strategic planning analysis) with the many industry changes (not least of which are the changes brought about by the spawn of tools around big data). So, now, I have been working on creating a learning pattern to meet her needs. Who would have thunk it, eh?

So, I turned 41 a few weeks back. I still feel like a teenager in spirit, though my mind does alternate between angsty teen to curmudgeonly decrier of lawn trespassers and philosophical guru of the “yeah, I f*cked up doing that too” type of wisdom.

I have a lot of pent up posts in me about Robin Williams dying from depression, that this week saw the last of the named celebrities of Madonna’s song, Vogue,  passing away and that words have meanings, and by constantly abusing the language set, we remove those meanings … but this curmudgeonly angsty wise teen who normally writes those posts is too tired and I have a day’s worth of work to get through before I take my parents out to dinner to celebrate my father’s 74th birthday.


Author: xntrek

Just an awkward, politically incorrect, maladjusted, ire-filled, eccentric curmudgeon and decrier of lawn trespassers.

2 thoughts on “Four cups of coffee, three angry eMails, two Work meetings and an ulcer in my pear shaped body …”

    1. I have his collated works in my shed 🙂 The theory is perfectly sound on grasslands and savannahs. In fact, I know that some of the farmers in the NSW riverina utilised the same methods and had success. There are a number of gotcha’s though – management overhead, cattle numbers and a desire to get the land repaired over the stock and saleyard timelines.

      That said, I have been working on a plan – and if I can get the neighbours to agree … I’ll post it up as a full end to end case study.

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