Day 167 – 3 October 2014
Have you seen the movie Parenthood? There’s a scene where Gil and Karen Buckman, played by Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen, are talking about the way their lives are and Gil says how he hates messy. Just then Grandma comes in and says: “You know, when I was young, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up and down, up, down. Oh, what a ride. I always wanted to go again. It was just interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened…so scared, so sick, so excited…and so thrilled all together. Some didn´t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”
Well I’m with Grandma. I like the roller coaster. I like the rush and the thrill of the variety. I like the good times but know that these must be interspersed with the bad. Without them there would be no comparison and this week has had both. The start of the week was at the bottom but yesterday was way up at the top. I guess that the bad times are the price you pay for the good ones.
This morning I started off with a meeting to talk about demand stimulation. We held it at the Digital Durham world headquarters just outside Spennymoor. This is the second time that we’ve been able to meet to review progress and since the last one the picture has improved notably. Our take up is, there or there about, in line with the national picture where demand stimulation activity is taking place. We all agreed that the graphs were mind-bogglingly complicated but after a little explanation we were given a clear indication of what is working and where our efforts would be best placed.
Poor Alli and Ashley are wearing out their shoes leather which shamed us all into helping. I set aside a day in December to drop leaflets and not to be outdone Tony and Simon (from BT) agreed to chip in as well. We mustn’t forget however why this is important. Our programme is about social welfare and not just maximising take up. Already there are clear areas where demand is high and others where it is almost non-existent. I am most concerned about the latter and we need to think about how we can make a difference here.
Back at County Hall I had a few meetings with suppliers. Cloud and Big Data seem to be the order of the day. I need to be convinced about the former as I still feel it is a so what issue. After lunch I made my way to East Durham Homes for our quarterly get together. There is a lot going on with the County Durham Housing Group and a lot to be done by the spring.
Customer Service Week starts on Monday. I nearly forgot that I’ve been here for five years.
Learning points for today: Some organisations only have a veneer of respectability; some people agree with you even when they don’t speak up; we can put men on the moon but we can’t put chocolate on coffee and; a specifically designated leafleting jacket (SDLJ) is the latest must have in sartorial elegance.
Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – I’m kind of glad that week’s over.