One of the interesting angles of working in an office environment is that you find here a great mix of people at different stages of their lives. Few weeks back, there was a “send forth” event in the office for one of our colleagues named Zoe who was proceeding on maternity leave. I think she quite enjoyed it and appreciated the show of love and support from members of the IO and promised to let us know whenever the special guest finally ‘arrived’.
The good news is that this special and long-awaited guest finally arrived this week and as we have been told already has at least two names – in both Chinese and English! Mother and child are both well and we should be getting some pictorial evidence soon. To add to the celebratory mood, another colleague, Donna of the CAMERA team had her birthday and brought in a cool cake which was well enjoyed.
It has also been a busy period at the office as I have had to complete certain aspects of the projects I handle before Ines’ annual leave. This means I have attended quite a number of meetings, collected loads of data, submitted drafts and got them amended before compiling the final documents and also worked on several implementations. Work still continues on both the database and website while that on Social networking is ongoing as well.
Interestingly, I never knew I was putting myself into a corner by explaining what I actually do in the office in the last blog, as ever since, I have had Jon, a Team Leader, asking me the delivery date for the special recruitment device. Apparently, he already has plans on deploying this tool to boost his team’s recruitment drive. The only caveat is that he seems to have forgotten the budget for this project but I hope he mentions it soon.
Another benefit of ‘hotdesking’ is that you don’t get too familiar with your desk (really not sure if this counts as a benefit though). This clearly played out some days back when Karen, also a Team Leader, came in early and placed some flowers from her garden on some desks including mine. Despite her gracious act, I surprisingly sat at my desk for almost half an hour without noticing the flowers until Karen came up and asked me what I thought about them. Contrast that with Yvonne of the Admin Team who noticed them right away when she arrived! I probably have to start working on a new project – Floral recognition!
Sadly, this week I have come to see parts of my host country that I have never before imagined possible. Few days ago have seen parts of England witness a string of violence and riots which were sparked off by a peaceful protest. Fortunately, Southampton was not affected and has remained calm. However, I have spoken with friends in different cities and followed updates on the media. No one I have spoken with agrees these riots are justifiable. I feel for those directly affected and can only hope for a quick resolution to this strange situation, already things are calming down. However, the police response to the situation has struck me. Their ability to exercise restraint and use only necessary force despite the temptation to do otherwise is quite commendable. Communities have also come together to show solidarity by cleaning up the mess of these past days. To me, these positives go a long way to send the message that in the end, good always prevails over evil.