Given that I will be heading south on a succession of trains this evening, I’m taking the chance to write a few words now – at 7:45am.
I woke at 6:20am, ten minutes before the alarm on my phone kicked in. I’m not sure how that works – if I set an alarm, I always wake up a few minutes before it. After having a shower, getting dressed, and re-packing my bag, I arrived in the hotel restaurant for breakfast a few minutes before 7. A bright, cheerful blonde girl approached in staff uniform.
“Have you had breakfast with us before?”
She said “Brill” a lot. Accepting the table she shepherded me towards was “brill”. Giving her my food order was “brill” too. So was the affirmation that I had finished, and that she could take my plate while I sipped coffee and scrolled the news on my phone.
I’m back in the hotel room now. Forty minutes to fill before my day begins. The office building is next-door to the hotel – more within staggering distance than walking distance. As mentioned before, my bag is packed already. I packed most of it last night, because I’m kind of insane like that. If you’ve ever seen the George Clooney movie “Up in the Air”, and thought his travelling routine was bordering on obsessive compulsive, you have no idea.
When I arrive at a hotel for a few days with work, I unpack my clothes into the wardrobe – then each day as I wear things, I fold them back up, into my bag. I leave home with precisely enough clothes to last throughout the stay. If it’s a long trip I might take a set of spare clothes just in case some kind of disaster happens. The “routine” has become just that – “routine” – something I do without really thinking.
Today I will be sitting in on a number of “workshops”. I think “workshop” really means everybody sits around a table and disagrees with each other. Either that, or everybody sits around a table and doesn’t have an opinion – which is probably just as bad. I get to listen, write notes, and remind everybody that I can do whatever they want – it’s really up to them to decide what they want me to do.
I don’t think I’ve ever described what my day job is. I’ve hinted at it. I work for a “Microsoft Partner”. This is a lofty title imbued on organisations that Microsoft trust enough to recommend to corporate customers that need help building their systems out. I started out as a software and web developer, and still am to a certain extent – although in recent years I have become the “workflow” guy. Workflows are the magic that happens when you fill a form in, and it causes other things to happen elsewhere – popping up tasks, updating databases, generating letters – that kind of thing. Some people might call me a “full stack developer” – a ridiculous title if you ask me.
It looks like a beautiful day outside – not a cloud in the sky. Of course I won’t see it – I’ll spend the greater part of the day sitting at a conference room table, and the better part of the evening sitting on trains. At least I have reserved seats.