A year of work in progress – day 146

Day 146 – 29 August 2014

It was the last day of heaven, the last day of the school holiday and the last day, at least for a while, when the drive to work will be relatively uneventful. Worryingly though the western bypass is covered with cones past the Metro Centre and through the Team Valley. They’re lined up waiting to make their move. They’ve clearly planned some incursion into the carriageways as the lanes have been narrowed and reflective markers are showing us a new path to follow. They’ve clearly planned an incursion into my commute. It looks like it’s going to be a long campaign and Monday is going to be an interesting drive.

It’s taking me longer and longer to plan for the coming week. I have a task set up and it’s the first thing I try to do on a Friday morning. By the time I’ve set up tasks for the next month, filed away all the documents for last week, coloured my calendar, sorted out my mileage, set time aside to be in the various locations, checked whether I can get the train or use a pool car and written a short blog piece for the ICT intranet at least an hour has gone by. I still feel it’s a good use of my time however as a little investment now saves a lot of trouble later. It means that I rarely get caught out with a last minute rush to complete something.

My first meeting was with Tony in his Digital Durham bailiwick. We spent a lot of the time talking about next week’s visit by Chris Townsend, the Chief Executive of Broadband Delivery UK. We’ve laid on a few meetings and a quick tour. It’s going to be a great opportunity to display our wares. We’ve got a good story to tell.

The programme continues to go well. We’ve got just under eighty cabs live with a shed load in the pipeline. Tony’s finished the invitation to tender for phase 2, the superfast extension programme and we’ll be putting this out to market soon.

Infrastructure is not an issue but take up may be. There are places where lots of people have signed up for superfast broadband and there are areas where there has been no interest so far. We’ve got more work to do in this area. Ashley showed me a mock-up of some new guard rails and a postcard that we are going to give a try. We’ve got to look at new ideas until we get it to stick.

After lunch we agreed a way forward to handle credit card payments over the phone in a way that will be compliant with the Payment Card Industry standards, something we have been working on for a while. On the way over to Tanfield I took some photographs of some sculptures in Craghead for Ashley’s (and Alli’s) postcards.

Learning points for today: You know you’re getting old when the councillors are looking younger; all of the former district computer rooms can now be closed; I may be part of the problem and; the further we travel the more I realise how great the distance is that lies ahead.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – good end to the week.

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