Time flies when you are having fun...
This week has been really enjoyable on a number of counts. I've finished my handover training at work, and am now "flying solo" as the lady who was training me has now left. I actually got a couple of practice days as she was off sick on Monday and Tuesday, which was a nice way of easing into it! (though a little frustrating when people came up looking for her wouldn't accept my help as "Julia knows what is going on, so it's easier if I just speak to her". They don't have that option now!) My boss has already decided to push me out of my comfort zone, just a little way, in asking me to help him sort out a dispute with one of our suppliers. I'm fine with the facts gathering, report writing and recommendation making, it's the sitting in front of the suppliers and telling them that they are being completely unreasonable is what slightly worries me. But I'm sure it will be easier once I get a better grip on what is going on. It's also very difficult for me to get my head round my new "status" - for all of my working life, my role has been administrative, and I've always had in my head that I've been "low down" on the status structure (even when the role hasn't been lowly, I'm still used to being seen as at most a couple of levels up from basic receptionist), and I'm now having to flip to the fact that my manager's manager is the CIO for the whole IT group, and three levels above her is the Minister. But I'm sure that will come once I've got a bit of a better handle on the role.
My enjoyment of the week has also been helped by the fact that I'm starting to get the hang of getting up in the mornings, remembering that I need to be heading to bed by 10pm and keeping my brain in gear all day.
We've also been pretty busy all week, hence a lack of posting until today!
Orchestra again on Monday - as interesting and fun as always. I've now got the first oboe parts, and need to spend some time today actually practising them ready for rehearsal tomorrow! (First oboe is away for two weeks, so I really need to look at the solos that she has - there are a lot of them!)
On Tuesday, we went to a seminar run by the good folks at Settlement Support. This one was on Emergency Preparedness - what to do if the earth shakes or the water rises... Apparently the Hutt Valley is prone to flooding on a reasonably spectacular scale; fortunately, we are far enough away from the rivers that we are only going to be affected in as much that the public transport will go up the swannee and make things difficult to get to work. The tidal waves should stop at the railway line a way back from us, so, again, we will only have problems with transport. Earthquakes may be a bigger problem, but only if they get to house or road/railway destruction levels. But we do now know what we should be doing and what sort of items we need to keep handy, and also how long we can expect to wait before help arrives in the event of a major scale disaster (3 days). And we got fed some really rather yummy pancake rolls and chocolate biscuits :-D
Thursday I had my first practice with the Hutt hockey club - this was quite an adventure! The training wasn't being held at the pitch that I had been to on Sunday last week, so I had a 20 minute train journey up the tracks to Trentham to the pitch there. The weather was hockey-typical (grey, rainy...), and I didn't get a great sense that there would be many there, particularly when I arrived five minutes before training was due to start and I was the only lady there! (The men were training before us, and they had a turn out of eight people...) In the end, there were four of us. Two of the men stayed behind and we had a three on three game, which was great fun - lots of running about and no being able to hide at the back! I even managed to get two goals in, which I was very pleased about (even though our side lost incredibly badly...)
We finished about fifteen minutes before time, as we were all getting a bit cold and wet, and there wasn't a huge amount that we could do with just the four of us after the men left. Unfortunately, no-one was heading back to Lower Hutt, so I had to go and catch the train back again, just as the heavens opened completely. I trudged back to the station, only to see the signs up saying that they are doing bus replacements. Unfortunately, the bus stop is the other side of the station from the shelter, and because I couldn't trust that the buses would be running to a similar schedule to the trains (it taking longer to go by road), I had to keep on nipping out in the pouring rain to check whether the bus was coming. It was made a little worse (for my frustrations at least) that the timetable that we picked up three months ago is now out of date, and the train that I was waiting for now only runs on a Friday, meaning that I had an extra half hour wait anyway. And one of the local drunks saw me at the shelter and decided to come over for a chat. Well, I say "chat" - more of an incomprehensible mutter from his side with me nodding and making appropriate sounds when he stopped! (and before anyone starts worrying, I was in no danger from him - he was holding on to his bags of bottles too tightly to ever be a threat, and I had my hockey sticks in my hands!)
Fortunately, the bus that was heading to Upper Hutt showed up, and the conductor suggested that as they were going to be the next bus heading back down towards Wellington, I might as well get on now and start warming up. I did get another drunk sitting next to me as we started to make our way back to Waterloo (this one so drunk that he was having difficulty taking the few paces up the aisle to fall into the seat), but I was able to ignore him better as I had my book out - he didn't really get the hint and kept on talking to me, but didn't really notice that I wasn't responding very much. It was still a very late night back, and unfortunately, the rail replacement after business hours is going to happen for the next few months whilst they do some major track work (they are bringing in some new trains, and laying new tracks to help cope with the extra volume) So, I'm very much hoping that someone will be going my way next week!
And last night, to round off the week, we hosted the Board SIG (Special Interest Group) for the Sci-fi society. It was very nice not to have to travel to get to the meeting, and was brilliant to have everyone round to show off our place. We played some really enjoyable games - I was playing a new one, which really rather complicated rules - however, once we got into it, it wasn't too confusing - one of those games where it is easier to play than to describe! The party ended up finishing at about half twelve, but it really didn't feel that late. Looking forward to the next one!