Two weeks in the life: Quizes, podiatrists and arthritic knees
Two weeks ending 8 April 2018
The week started with another early trip to Manchester without the need to collect a charger but still needing to get an early train from Shirley. It was the next episode in the Regional Centre Change lead training and we were focusing on diversity and inclusion for day one.
This was always going to be interesting because we have, as ARC, been highly critical of the consultation on diversity, so I had to be careful about how I handled the two days. I needn’t have worried, most of the day the rest of the team were so annoyed about having no idea about what was going on I didn’t need to get too exorcised. But I managed a couple of comments where needed!
Day two was a delayed start as I took part in the briefing call for unions about the announcement of the first building in the Manchester Regional Centre, in Salford. It became clear why the Manchester change lead had been so preoccupied, she was having to lead the whole shebang as neither the RIL nor the Senior Sponsor were available. We delayed the session she was keen to attend to accommodate the timings of the work she had to do and we had a very productive conversation about our role and our future training needs.
Then down to London to an empty flat and two very demanding cats! We had a meeting with Penny Ciniewicz on 28th as well as the workforce and planning meeting. We raised essential criteria with Penny as there is currently an issue about whether you are allowed to apply for a G6 vacancy if you haven’t been promoted ‘directly’ from a recognised course. This seems too restrictive and we are trying to find a form of words that protects the courses but allows for promotion of a wider pool. We also raised the issue of migration paths and where vacancies could be placed and agreed to send further details. It was odd to sit next to Simon York who is now my day job boss – and being very patient about the lack of time I have to devote to it.
The afternoon was the workforce planning meeting and we discussed the department’s use of 90% as a statistic for the people who would be able to come with us to Regional Centres. We managed to get agreement from Ravi that this would only be used if the correct context was given to it going forwards as it is no longer correct. This was welcome – we don’t actually accept it was ever correct but if they’re not going to use it any more we don’t need to push it. Then I went to Ravi’s leaving do, which was interesting and which did not result in my being upside down behind a potted plant because I was with so many senior leaders I behaved. Ravi was very complimentary, he said I was more challenging than my predecessor, I took it as a compliment anyway!
Thursday was the last working day of the week and I was travelling home. I normally travel late in the day to save money on tickets but today I decided to travel in work time so I went on the last off peak train in the afternoon on the basis nobody would thank me for extending my day! I dealt with some admin and tracked the motions for conference before having a long chat with Zohra about various personal cases and culling my inbox a little. I didn’t stop when I got home though – I logged on and began to organise the annual report!
Easter weekend was interesting, my parents were coming down on the Saturday, RTI was collecting them on Saturday after he had seen his own parents so I spent Friday organising the house and hiding the mess. Then on Saturday I was in charge of cooking. We put the most enormous piece of beef in the slow cooker and cooked stuff to go with it. We were nine for dinner (my son didn’t make it back from Manchester and my eldest daughter was in Central America) so I had to try and find enough chairs! Then on Sunday I took them to Tamworth where my aunt is in a home and keen to see my mum. Then I took them out to lunch, and it was quite like taking the children out, with the exception of my parents deciding to have a bottle of wine! I know I am lucky to still have both parents, but it is hard sometimes.
Once I had driven them home to Ormskirk, I drove to Formby to see an old school friend and we ended up at the Railway Pub doing a quiz, or should I say doing spectacularly badly at a quiz. A lovely evening though. The journey back the next day was a bit perilous, it was sleeting in Formby and raining heavily on the M6 so that I had to go quite slowly not to aquaplane which is scary!
Back down to London on 3 April after the officer’s dial-in, where we were able to find out how many motions we had for Conference, I worked at home until later in the day to avoid the school holiday traffic and then went straight to the flat where I worked until Holby City came on at 8pm!
Wednesday 4 April was FDA EC at the Podiatrist building nearish to Tower Bridge. We were discussing motions to ADC while trying not to discuss them if that makes sense. It was quite a good meeting but a long trek back to the tube station and into the flat.
Thursday was a catch up with Tracy McGee over coffee with many things to discuss including pay and how the ER team would work now Chris Elliott is taking a career break. I then spoke with Dan Goad about the movement of Transformation projects into the customer groups and whether or not that meant he was organising himself out of a job. He liked that question!
Then a catch up with Simon Claydon about some of the issues around consultation and where we felt it was not going quite right.
And of course while all this is going on I’m still answering emails and trying to keep a track of what I have and haven’t actually done before my term ends. I find it quite hard to believe how fast the last two years have gone but I am looking forward to seeing more of my family. At least I think so, I’m not sure I’m keen on the driving experience provided by the 17 year old but she is improving!
Home on Friday morning and some HMRC work until a dial in with Dorothy Brown about the UC issues. Then up North on Saturday to see my parents again and my brother and sister in law because we didn’t see them at Easter. Annoyingly our own car was still not back from the repairers so we had to use the courtesy car which RTI had cleverly not signed me up for and so, despite having arthritic knees, he had to drive. I think it was deliberate!
RTI is still trying to get to the bottom of his health issues but continues to teach, play and supervise bridge sessions as well as do some personal casework for Keystone. He’s happy, that’s good!