My day -- 02/17/11

Ah, my, this was a long day.

Well, actually, every day this week has been a long day. Not so much as in total hours, but as intensity of the day.

I somehow get involved in lots of projects and tasks and such at work in addition to my "regular" job (which is doing editing and quality assurance review on materials for our courses that deal with our high-end, high-tech, heavy-duty enterprise level software).

One thing that has eaten up a lot of my time and energy in recent weeks is being loaned to a related department that produces certification exams for programmers and analysts who want to get a certificate that shows that they have major skills with one or another of our software products. I have been trained to serve as a "facilitator" in guiding a group of subject matter experts in developing these certification tests. In this modern age of telecommuting, we do not get together in a room somewhere -- instead we get together over a combination of an Internet meeting room and a telephone conference call. And that is about all I can tell you about this because, in order to preserve the security of the certification exams, this is all considered to be the highest restricted level of corporate confidential.

So this has been one of those weeks that I have been chairing a three hour long meeting each day, Monday through Thursday. But, of course, it is more than a three hour task for me because I need at least two hours to prepare for the meeting -- generating reports and spreadsheets to send to the team via email, making sure that everything we need is up-and-running, double-checking statistics to track our progress, etc.

Today was a rough day because I had other meetings as well. So... here is my day:

Up at 5:45. Feed Tiger. Fix Nancy's lunch. Boot my main work computer and check corporate email. Bring coffee upstairs to Nancy. Watch about twenty minutes of morning news & weather on channel 10, Providence. Come downstairs, fix breakfast, bring in the newspaper, eat breakfast -- Nancy goes to work -- I come into my den and boot the other computers (I usually have two work computers plus my personal computer running, although today is a day when I have little time for my computer.)

From about 7:15 until 9:00, prepare for my exam facilitation session. 9:00 telephone conference call for a committee I am on dealing with our company's birthday celebration. We are tasked with doing something about our company's history in Rhode Island. Someone on the committee has contacted a bunch of retirees and will have them gather to tell stories about the-good-old-days. I have some time constraints (future facilitation meetings) but I will attempt to attend as much as I can and to do any required video and/or audio editing to create computer display with photos and video interviews and such. Meeting ends in time for me to finish prepping for my 10 o'clock exam building session.

9:50 to 1:06 -- my "three hour" (moderator should log in ten minutes early) session of herding cats.

1:08 -- dial in to my 1:00 meeting a few minutes late -- I am on our company's state leadership council and we are making big plans for the corporate centennial celebration.

2:00 -- log into online "webinar" about software for building web presentations from Powerpoint files (and text files and video clips and what-have-you). I am hungry so I get clever and actually get to eat lunch -- bring work laptop into kitchen (wireless home network) and for lunch I microwave some leftover homemade chicken soup (Tuesday night dinner).

3:00 -- lunch and webinar over, back to the den. Have to respond to lots of email. Have to actually spend a bit of time doing my main job. Then have to turn my attention back to the exam project. Need to generate some reports from the authoring tool we use and rearrange them into a color-coded spreadsheet and send it to my team of subject matter experts along with a very detailed email explaining our status and what they are supposed to be doing for the next week.

6:04 -- finish work, shut down work computers. 6:30 Nancy gets home (she plays indoor tennis after work on Thursdays) -- fix dinner -- I had made some homemade New England clam chowder on Monday (plus shrimp scampi -- remember, it was Valentine's Day) so tonight I heated the leftover chowder -- and then for dinner mesclun mix salad, rice pilaf with steamed asparagus, and fish patties. Yes, I admit it, I was tired so I just tossed some frozen fish patties in the oven -- can't fix real meals every night).

Fire in the fireplace -- and somehow, picking up a big chuck of wood, I twisted my right wrist and it hurts -- and watched the most recent episode of Parenthood (on demand. -- which is not only convenient, the show is shorter than an hour because they cut out a lot of the commercials.

Ten o'clock -- I'm going to post this and go up stairs to read for a while before sleep.

That was my day. How was your day?

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