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Now that’s what I call Monday

Published February 17, 2014 by iftheshoefits

A rather unexpected day in fact – with highs and lows.

The highs

a) Mission Dinner Jacket or Die (MDJoD) is complete
b) I had time for a manicure in my lunch hour
c) I successfully completed Day 17 of the Plank Challenge – all 120 painful seconds
d) I didn’t lose my temper at work when I was totally and utterly justified in doing so

The lows

a) I was soaked to the skin on the walk home by passing cars after successful completion of MDJoD
b) I’m going to have to come up with a damage limitation strategy for (d) above

On the bizarre front, here’s a photo of some sparkly (borderline stripper shoes) that Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits mum sent me to cheer me up.

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It turns out you really can break the internet

Published February 11, 2014 by iftheshoefits

Today will forever more at West Wing Towers be known that the day that the internet died.  And die it did, albeit unspectacularly. The first I knew that anything was wrong when the entire office leapt to attention like meerkats in sight of a predator, with hushed voices exclaiming, “the internet’s down”.  Shocked glances turned into furious keyboard tapping, phone calls across the office to the techies who know about this kind of stuff, and quickly led to meetings being disturbed by nerd-like shrieking.

This was not good.

In fact, this was a real life emergency.  The root cause had to be found and rectified as quickly as possible, how could we survive without instant access to the world wide web?  This meant that people actually left their desks and headed to the mother ship, well the temperature controlled security vortex also known as the server room.  They were on a mission, they would succeed in bringing back the internet or die trying.

It turns out that someone had tripped up and subsequently pulled out the ONE really important cable.  He was explaining to some colleagues how careful you need to be when you’re backing up the system, being very serious and spouting good practice.  It was an unfortunate and somewhat ironic accident.  Alas, this was a serious security breach and the ISMF (Information Security Management Forum – I’m not making this up) had to be informed.  An incident was duly recorded, and will be discussed at the next meeting of the ISMF.

Once we rebooted the internet all was well.  The nerds settled back down into coding heaven, the geeks could get back online and order suitably geeky stuff and I could carry on shopping.  For those of you lucky enough to work outside the technology sector I shall clarify the difference between nerds and geeks via the image below.  Welcome to my life, I work with both tribes.  No wonder I buy shoes.

geekforcenetwork.com

geekforcenetwork.com

Mary Poppins expose

Published February 5, 2014 by iftheshoefits

Today, on the way to work, I really was Mary Poppins – the wind made me fly (sadly, very unlike Ms Poppins) way up in the air with my rather large umbrella.  At this point I faced with the impossible choice – wrestle with my umbrella or keep some dignity intact and hold my skirt down – there was no time for both.  So apologies to any car drivers who saw a small flurry of an oversized purple umbrella and grey woolly tights fighting their way through the cobbled slippery streets.

Once I’d reconnected with mother earth I stepped off of the pavement straight into a puddle so deep it overflowed my little chelsea boots.  Not exactly the best start to the day and thus I arrived at work battered, bedraggled and bemused – like most of my colleagues.

A surreal start to the day for everyone means that you share little moments of hilarity throughout the remainder – any subject was open for ridicule, planking (of course), prostrate examinations, dubious code changes, top end graphic cards and cooling units.  Not my top 10 funny moments ever, but instead an endearingly dorky day – nerds vs weather.  The weather won.

Now for a 40 second planking session now that my feet have dried out.

Planking Challenge Day 4 – who knew that nerds could be so competitive over exercise?

Published February 4, 2014 by iftheshoefits

We’re well into day 4 of our company planking challenge for charity – today we have to hold the plank position for a whole 30 seconds.

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Those who remembered to start the challenge on Saturday as agreed, immediately forgot the rules – start small and build your way up to the full 300 seconds.

But, because this challenge is mastered by those who sit still for hours on end, and who can assume the above pose easily enough – the menfolks have gone all Alpha Papa on me and are treating each day as holding the pose for as long as possible.  Out planking one another has become the new office hobby – this is freaking me out, I’m used to the debates on Skyrim vs World of Warcraft, how the makers of CandyCrush are evil and should go straight to a special kind of hell and how you simply can’t survive without a water-cooled hard drive.  But now they’re talking voluntarily about a form of exercise.  There are people planking in the boardroom, others are side planking after a rendition of happy birthday in our main open plan nerd hub.  The earth has indeed spun off of its axis and we’re going to plunge screaming into the heart of the sun.  No wonder I need retail therapy.  Beam me up Scotty, I actually mean it this time.

Image courtesy of http://img.breakingmuscle.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full_width/images/bydate/nov_29_2011_-_1201pm/shutterstock_55088689.jpg

Flat shoes are sooooo my new thing – yay shoes, shoes, and more shoes

Published February 1, 2014 by iftheshoefits

Don’t blame it on the sunshine
Don’t blame it on the moonlight
Don’t blame it on the good times
Blame it on the boogie…

Don’t worry, I’m not channeling the Jackson Five, but I have rediscovered flat shoes after several decades in heels.  I’m actually blaming this phenomenon on OBB – I’m trying to walk everywhere – it’s free, it’s healthy and in this lovely winter weather, utterly and painfully bracing.  I do have some flat boots, albeit a tad on the chunky side for work, as well as a couple of pairs of lovely brogues, but I was missing some neat little ballet pumps.

My office wear usually involves a smart outfit and heels – as I’ve grown up a bit (i.e. turned 40) I’ve discovered wedges and they’re usually my heel of choice, but they are still a challenge to walk two miles in over uneven terrain and cobblestones.  I do have a shoe cupboard at work with many abandoned pairs which are either too impractical or too uncomfortable to wear for any significant period of time (note to self, clear out required).  And so I’ve been trailing the sales for some bargains.

Ta da 🙂

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I’ve worn and loved the navy ones so much, I ordered exactly the same shoe in emerald which will give me a splash of colour for Spring – if it ever arrives that is.  Interested shoe fiends can find them here

They are very very flat though – apparently nobody at work realised I was as short as I am.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go…

Pink pee and planking

Published January 31, 2014 by iftheshoefits

There’s that small moment of “oh oh” when you notice that your pee is not part of the acceptable pantone colour chart for bodily waste.  This thought is immediately replaced by “emergency doctor’s appointment” until my brain finally kicked into gear and settled on the correct answer, “too much beetroot for lunch”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love beetroot, I could eat an entire family-sized pickled beetroot jar in one sitting if I could ever get the bleeping lid off.  Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits recently caught me desperately trying to twist my way into one, too proud to ask for his assistance.   He watched me for a second, then calmly wrangled the jar away from me and told me that there was only one failsafe way to open them on my own.  He set the jar down on the kitchen worktop then picked up a large sharp kitchen knife before flamboyantly and rather violently stabbing the lid, effectively breaking the air seal and allowing the jar to open sesame.

That is now my second best kitchen trick.  My favourite is saved for work.  Never get between a demi-nerd and her coffee.  I’m 5ft 3 and a hairs breadth tall – this means that reaching the top shelves in cupboards can be somewhat challenging.  Our freshly ground filter coffee lives on the top shelf in our communal kitchen.  I need coffee, the jar is empty, I can’t reach the refill bags – I could go and fetch a tall nerd to reach it for me, I could get a chair or a ladder to stand on.  Neither is the most energy efficient way of dealing with this problem, I simply open the kitchen drawer and find the salad servers then pincer the coffee down to me.  Quick and efficient and bypasses the smurf / hobbit / borrowers commentary.

Working in a technology company means a lot of sitting around eating cake and drinking coffee.  We feel guilty about this, especially on Bacon Sandwich Fridays when we phone our breakfast orders into a local cafe and they deliver them to our office.  This is honestly the highlight of some people’s week.

As part of our corporate responsibility initiative we’ve adopted a charity of the year and, feeling guilty about the cake, the bacon and the sedentary coffee consumption, we’ve signed ourselves up for a 30 day fitness challenge with all proceeds going to our chosen charity – this involves a yoga-esque pose called The Plank.  This didn’t sound too scary – no running around and getting sweaty, you just hold one position for a set amount of time each day, even the Jedis amongst us could cope with that.  Day 1 starts off easy enough, assume the position and hold for 20 seconds, by day 30 you should be able to plank for 300 seconds.  There was a lot of over-confidence.  The yoga practitioners smiled knowingly, everyone else went home and practiced before committing themselves to some public ridicule.  I’m fairly fit, but I started shaking after about 40 seconds so I’m looking forward to the challenge.  One of our business developers was openly honest – he had tried it and managed 4.7 seconds and informed us “he’s in it to win it”.  Somehow, I don’t think so.  One of our mega nerds asked if he could use some bricks or something to elevate himself as his tummy was still touching the floor when he assumed the correct position.

We’re starting tomorrow, 1st February, there is a betting syndicate already set up with an odds-on favourite to win.  Will I still be hanging in there on Day 30 – I hope so!

Enough already – it’s enough to put me off my jammy dodger

Published January 10, 2014 by iftheshoefits

I like the lull between back to back meetings. We’re in full scale planning mode for the year ahead and are trying to scope out new product ideas. Three different meetings, lots of personalities, ideas and noise.  Those types of Friday afternoons need biscuits – it’s been a long old week and the troops are revolting – therefore it’s time to feed the nerds.

Enter, stage left, the humble jammy dodger.

 

 

 

 

Just as I was about to tuck in with true abandon, one of my colleagues was talking about the sleepless nights she’d been experiencing since the holidays, now that her children were back at nursery.  It involved a small child, projectile and copious vomiting and the 2am clean up attempt.  It was not the kind of mid afternoon chat that ensures you enjoy your coffee and sugar rush, but it got worse, much worse.  Parent #2 trumped parent #1 with a tale of woe so disturbingly disgusting that colleagues had to leave the room mid retch.  It also involved a small child, but with double ended projectile missile blasting.  Needless to say that no-one wanted the Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers.  Then there was a free for all amongst parents, grandparents and anyone who had a gross-out story to tell.  Mayhem.  Order was eventually restored but all sense of appetite was abandoned, some required nicotine to calm their nerves, others asked to be excused, permanently, from the rest of the afternoon session.

I’m not a parent, not a prude and empathise with those sleepless nights, but stories like that need to be “saved” for families and friends.

Now, where’s that jammy dodger?

jammy dodger

en.wikipedia.org

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