Archive for the 'Work' Category

by Pat
on Sep 14th, 2011

12 Days: Empty Desk

Today I decided – despite having a couple of days left at work – to tidy my things away ready for carting them off in a box/bag/USB stick on my final day.

It’s been an oddly nostalgic process: I’ve stumbled across:

  • Old workbooks featuring my notes from the first week of my current job role in 2008 (I… I have learned a lot since then, it appears)
  • PowerPoint-based posters I designed for the Christmas Party in 2009 (yep, PowerPoint. I can only assume they’ll be using that as the primary design tool on my course)
  • Photos of me and my workmates in 2007
  • Leaving invitations of work mates long since gone

…oh and a huge amount of stupid pictures, doodled over the years in MSPaint.

And now… it’s all gone.

My desk drawers are clear, the surface of my desk clear bar the usual computery equipment, and my home drive is empty *.

Even though this is the case, the fact that I’m leaving forever has not sunk in.

I wonder when it will?

Monday morning, probably.

Til tomorrow (a.k.a. the penultimate day of employment)!


* Bar a folder called “France”, which although empty is “In use by another program” and so I can’t remove it using Explorer. Even though it’s almost certainly “In use” by another Explorer thread. I love Explorer. It is definitely not a steaming heap of shit.

by Pat
on Sep 13th, 2011

15 – 13 Days: Final Day Ideas

Well, I’m now into my final week of work.

At the time of writing I have 4 days in the office remaining (including today, as, well, technically my work hours haven’t started yet as I’m in early).

I think it would be a terrible shame to leave the company without doing something at least vaguely amusing.

Alas, I’m having not much luck with ideas. So far all I can think of is:

  • Office chair racing
  • Hiding a drawing of Squage somewhere no one’ll find for years
  • Changing various team members’ ringtones to The Final Paycheck
  • Burning the building down (they took my stapler)

Any ideas? Preferably something that won’t burn all bridges to a crisp… :-)



by Pat
on Sep 8th, 2011

18 Days: Leaving Corporate Life

And so it is nearly upon me. The day where I hand my office pass in to my boss, clear down my desk and head out of the building for the final time.

At times like this it’s hard not to think about the things I’ll miss about my current corporate life. Harder still to avoid pondering those things I won’t miss.

“Why don’t you write a blog entry talking about some of those things now, Pat?”

GREAT IDEA! Let’s go:

Key Things I’ll Miss

This is pretty obvious: the people and the pay. Ok, so this section appears ludicrously small in comparison to the one below, but that’s because it’s much more fun to write rants :-)

Key Things I’ll Not Miss

IT Systems

From computers I’d struggle to get Doom running on even with a special boot disk, though “rich” web-based systems that require $3 million worth of hardware and software to poorly emulate the old robust thick client systems / the perfectly functional old web pages that could keep themselves within 2MB a page, to centrally-enforced software rollouts that turn your PC into a tin box with flashing lights on it (“What do you mean you guys install software on your development PCs?”).

Corporate IT Systems, from what I gather, suffer from the following two issues:

  • The slow and complex nature of changing, testing and approving new systems across a huge organisation
  • A new solution often being a result of golf matches with suppliers rather than what’s measurably best. (This is of course a joke and in no way is Pat trying to suggest that A new solution often being a result of golf matches with suppliers rather than what’s measurably best – Squage). Er, that’s literally just what I wrot-(SHUT UP – Squage). Ahem. Yes, there is no second bullet point.


Want to copy a file over here? Sure! You just need to:

  • Raise this EU Change Request form
  • Raise this separate USA Change Request form (5 days’ notice at least)
  • Get the appropriate approvals from all appropriate parties (and some inappropriate ones)
  • Load the file into the “here’s the only place you’re allowed to have stuff copied from” area
  • Raise the paperwork to have it copied to the staging area (make sure you perform the appropriate file labelling and promotion first)
  • Raise the paperwork to have it moved to production (up to 5 days’ notice)
  • Make sure you’ve got the appropriate Service Centre Supervisor confirmation as we’re not in the 1 month that doesn’t involve some kind of “Freeze Period”
  • Make sure your previously approved system architecture document won’t be affected so you might want to involve the IT Policy Specialist to review your change.


Business Speak

I agree that in order to sing holistically from the same hymn sheet, we often need a heads together in order to ensure the important items are on our radars from the get go.

Perhaps using metaphors can incentivise a quick win when trying to action an idea shower into deliverables in the office going forward.

But heads up folks, I want to touch base with you on this: it only takes a bit of blue sky thinking in this space to realise using these low hanging fruit can damage your ability to articulate clearly.

I just don’t have the bandwidth to cope with it all cascading down to me, I can’t even be bothered to drill down into what wrong-sides me about it most.

If I could just get my ducks in a r(OK, STOP THIS NOW – Squage)

Ok, sorry. I must mention this though: my favourite BS phrase still has to be this, which was uttered only once to my knowledge by a former manager:

“We need to take the chastity belt off this project”

To this day, I still shudder to think of the manager strapping the project down and giving it a good seeing to. Think that dream in Office Space. “Yeeeeeeahhh… I’m gonna need you to go ahead and be delivered by Q4… don’t move… yeah that’s it… keep that deadline right… there…”

I’ll leave that image with you. Hope it pushed the envelope.



by Pat
on Sep 7th, 2011

19 Days: The Final Departmental Meeting

You might remember that in the previous departmental meeting I was at, I was making copious “notes”. Today, because it was my final ever departmental meeting, I decided to mark this occasion by making even more of them.

Well, maybe only two notes. With one spoken by the other.

Both of them musical.


Meeting Doodles

What, then, did not happen was me drawing up the weird monster guy using my work PC over lunch. No. If that had’ve happened, mind you, it might’ve looked a little something like this:

FACT: “ + A Mouse” < "Adobe Illustrator + A Wacom Tablet Pen" Toodles, Pat

by Pat
on Aug 30th, 2011

27 Days: Patience

It’s a virtue, they say.

And by “they” I mean most people I ask about patience (those who don’t are usually doctors who haven’t quite heard me correctly).

If that’s the case, then call me Alan Non-Virtuous. There’s nothing * worse than sitting around waiting for something you know’s gonna be awesome.

Alas, that’s what I’m doing at the moment. On the 26th of September I start Uni, doing a two year FdA in Digital Media Design, down in Brighton. It’s going to completely blow my mind and open a range of opportunities I can only begin to imagine.

However, I’m at work until the 16th of September. Having resigned on the 1st of July, I’ve already got the vast majority of my handover done and as there’s no one to replace me yet I’ve got no one to train up.

So I spend a lot of my time looking at my Outlook calendar, seeing the “Last day” appointment, looking at “DAYS TO GO.xls”, checking the current date, looking at my Outlook calendar, seeing the “Last day” appointment… and so on.

Anyone fancy a coffee? I wanna chat about the number of days I’ve got left.





* Aside from fingernails scraping on a white board, forgetting to lock your car after walking across a car park from it in the rain, genocide, stepping on an upturned plug with bare feet etc.

P.S. Obviously I’m doing lots of work too. Just to be clear. The above is for comic effect, oh Beloved Employer™. Do not confuse silly posts with serious ones. Always read the label (and check the pills themselves). Your home is at risk if it’s made of bits of slugs and you’ve built it by a salt factory.

I’ve just been listening to some of Hanz Zimmer’s superb soundtrack to Christopher Nolan’s equally superb film Inception, whilst sitting at my desk in work.

My God.

Writing emails about system migrations and launch confirmations has never felt the same.

Normally my feelings around these sorts of things would be best described either as a colour: grey, or as a sound: ppft.

However, with particular tracks from the Inception soundtrack blasting in my ears:

  • UK WAR File Deployment Change Request completion:
    • Normally: shrug
    • When listening to The Dream Is Collapsing: a panicked, frantic mashing of keys desperately trying to explain that “everything is OK!” before the Change Request team lose all patience, fork out tens of thousands of pounds on flights and head here from America with rage in their eyes.
  • PVCS to AccuRev content migration:
    • Normally: meh
    • When listening to Time: an email of such world-changing importance that every keystroke composing it has more impact than any corporate-changing strategy ever written by a top excutive. On sending, a sense of immense pride and excitement fills one’s soul, purely to have been a part of such a historic event. Tears are almost wept at the sheer gravity of the situation.
  • Dev systems account password update confirmation:
    • Normally: tum-tee-tum…
    • When listening to Dream Within A Dream: utter terror; they might be development system passwords only, but oh god – what if someone uses the old one before the email gets out? The impact… THE IMPACT. Hurry, Pat, HURRY! Oh god, oh god, is everyone on this list of recipients? What if I forget someone and… oh man, check it again, Scullion, CHECK! If even one of those accounts get locked… tens… no… THOUSANDS may die! SOMEONE GET THE PRESIDENT, NOW! THE PASSWORDS HAVE CHANGED!!

So, basically, the Inception soundtrack inspires ludicrous hyperbole. :-)

If you’ve got a fave soundtrack for work spice-upping, what is it and what’s its effect?


by Pat
on Jul 19th, 2011

All Employee Meetings

They’re great.

And by “great” I mean “valuable if you’re paying attention”.

And by “paying attention” I mean “doodling”.

Obviously, I don’t do that. But if I did (which I don’t) then these would’ve been doodled in the most recent AEM I went to.

But I didn’t doodle them then, so that’s fine. I doodled them at home. Yes. On my work sketch note pad. Which I carry around with me at all times. Yes. Because I think work is great.

And by “great” I mean “valuable if you’re paying attention”.

And by “paying attention”… :)

Doodle 1
AEM Doodles

Doodle 2
All Employee Meetings
(Not referring to anything in particular. Clearly. Good.)

Pat :)

by Pat
on Feb 19th, 2008

All Change, Please!

Yo peeps!

Well, something that’s not happened since I went to Oz in 2006… that’s right, I’m leaving my department at work! Goodbye Technical Services!

There’s one key difference:

Last time, despite actually leaving the company outright and going to the other side of the world, I came back to the very same department (albeit in a different role). This time I’m permanently leaving the department! *

What’s more is the distance involved in my move. I’m not just going to the other side of the world, oh no: I’m going to the other side…. of the corridor!


Literally 6 metres from my current desk, the change of environment may be too much for me to take but I’m hoping I’ll be ok. Basically, I’m moving to another department to do some cool stuff for a funky and very useful web based system designed to help our customers. The cool stuff involves Oracle, WebLogic, funky web front end stuff and Linux/Unix. I’m looking forward to it!

Two days to go in TS, then I start next week (as I’m off on a long weekend to go to see Jersey… in Jersey! Sam and Spence from Oz, who’re On Tour at the mo are coming over too so it should be an awesome weekend!).

Right, that’s all really. Just an update from my world.



* Probably.

by Pat
on Jan 11th, 2008


YES! That’s right!

That’s right, following my 3 hour lessons in Milton Keynes snowdome, I’ve decided to up the ante a little for the remaining lessons: Jimbo (from work) and myself (and Squage, natch) are heading off to the south of France in just over a week for a week of Snow Boarding fun amoungst beautiful scenery! In the words of Peter Griffin, it’s going to be freakin’ awesome:

The Chalet.

The Resort.

This is the connected (massive) Les Arcs

Fortunately James and I have been down the gym 5 times this week and planning at least 4 next week too, so we’ll be in some kind of fit state to give it a go! I’m still gonna ache like a bastard but you know what: I don’t care. It’s going to be SO worth it.

Expect a full report on my return :-)

On in the mean time, today is the return of the Daily Photo. Today it’s of two stuffed toys on Reg’s desk at work:

2008-01-11: Ride 'Em IUM Monkey!

Ride ’em, IUM * Monkey!



* IUM = Image Utility Model. Basically it’s a printer leasing scheme, but as it’s at my place of work it needs to ensure it’s got a TLA **

** Tasty Lumpy Artichoke

by Pat
on Jan 2nd, 2008

First Day Of Work…

…and it’s off to a great start. Both James and I managed to coordinate efforts to be up and ready at 6:05am for him to give me a lift into the gym for 6:30am.

What a winner! We were impressed that we’d both managed to achieve this, given that the earliest time either of us had been awake for the 2 week preceding had been about 9:30am. And that was early.

Even better still, as the schools are still off the roads were almost empty – so we bombed it in and made it to the gym at bang on 6:30am – just in time for it to open and give us maximum time in there before work!

Just in time for it to open… on a normal day, that is. For it is this, the week starting the 1st of January 2008, that the guys at the gym have decided to open at 9am for the next 3 days.

So that left James and I sitting in his car in the pitch black, dressed in gym kit and (myself anyway) unshaven and messy looking, wondering what the hell we should do now.

Luckily there are showers in our work’s building itself, so we went to the work car park and made our way to the building entrance… only to find that I’d not brought my pass.

A diversion later I got myself signed in, visitor passed up and in the building.

I’m now showered and a bit more alive than at 6:30am… but given that I’m at my desk over an hour before I should technically be starting work, without a pass and feeling rather tired given getting up far earlier than I would’ve if I were just coming into work today, that’s not much consolation.

Things, as D:Ream once rightly pointed out, can only get better.

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