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Friday, February 25, 2011

Handing Over

I came, I saw, I accepted
Those of you who know me well, or even not so well I expect, know that I tend to favor short-term contracts over long-term career paths. But I may have exceeded myself this time. I have managed to create then work myself out of a job in less than two days! Even the logistics job I didn’t take in Iraq involved more than two weeks of training in Houston, TX, before getting myself removed from the project.


Arrived at Civil Defence Sector Post at 0830 to yet another supervisor (they seem to take turns supervising each other, perhaps I’ve been missing the rock, paper, scissors game each shift change). Asked if they wanted me on computer or something else, was told computer and assigned a supervisor of my own. (I know Tharp, that does not surprise you!) Receptionist comes to me wanting more “Help Offered” sheets, which I created a template for yesterday, I explained there was a master copy I’d instructed people to not use, then saw the word “Master” printed on the back of the completed copy she was holding, in my writing. Said I would deal with it.

Today’s supervisor came to ask for changes to template that yesterday’s supervisor had helped design and approve, I needed to remove website permission section anyway after ivb decided yesterday that allowing people to freely access information on people who were willing to have it accessed freely was not proper. Said I would deal with it.

Tweaked yesterday’s template, saved to flash drive, went to Church Office to have a copy printed for photocopying. New vicar (two weeks, I think, he has been here, “a disaster is a great way to meet your parishioners,” I told him) and I developed an easy system yesterday including a way of sharing Net access (only available in office or hall, not both at once, so at least God’s man and I were communicating). Russell (God’s man) not yet in, lovely lady who gave me ride from Gebbies Pass on Wednesday and makes P’s nightshirts was online. She said printer was not working, I said it had been working fine previous day, she assured me that was no longer the case. (Diamond Harbour is full of elderly retirees, most of whom are perfectly lovely but all of whom make me look like an IT guru!) Arranged to e-mail it to my personal supervisor who would have someone print it at his home.

Obstacle! Needed net access to do so, lovely lady nightshirt maker (henceforth llnm) had e-mail open. Asked if it was being used, answer was no, but that it would be needed when the Reverend arrived. Tried to explain that Russ and I had that sorted and that I accepted God’s work took priority, but could I possibly do some of Tracie’s work until someone arrived to do God’s. (Note, again: Nothing against God, and in his defence, he did tell his people to build their house upon rock, not swampland as they did in central Christchurch, but I’m sure he doesn’t mind me borrowing his Net access when his man isn’t needing it.) Eventually got online, e-mailed template to immediate supervisor (is), went to find him and Russ had snuck in while I was elsewhere, overheard conversation with is and asked why I wasn’t using “stick” (NZese for a flash drive?). Told him llnm said printer wasn’t working, he said it was, we got back on track. He agreed I could have Net til God needed to e-mail anyone and he (Russ, not God) would give me notice before bumping me off. I have good feelings about the new vicar and hope he will put in a good word for me also. Had him save template to his computer also as I was hoping to leave as soon as possible.

Back to computer and is, and trying to give him access to and control of the website I’d set up. Asked who else should have access, needed their e-mail addresses to do so, each needed gmail accounts to accept invitation. None had gmail accounts, is’s wife worked (prior, I think) for Microsoft and would not allow him a gmail account. Asked for some time out to think this through.

Had a coffee, made a few very useful connections, asked a lady heading to the supermarket to pick me up a bottle of wine, please. Felt I might need it by end of day.

Pulled is from library for a talk, advised him optimum way for this to work, advised him optimum needed input from Civil Defence IT folk (if such a thing exists) and that they were probably busy on more pressing matters, gave him options for less-than-optimum achievable goals, all of which were designed to remove myself from the loop. Explained that this was always the goal, that Tracie’s lifeplan, such as it is, does not involve permanent contact with Diamond Harbour Civil Defence. Jointly decided on best option, tested it, decided to take a break and reconnect at 1500. Is gave me lift home to P’s.

Busy intermission, worked independently on improving communications in immediate neighbourhood. Succeeded, but the bar was very low for success.

Back to Sector Post at 1500. Receptionists chastised me for not signing out earlier, told me brownie points would be removed. Wanted me to sign out for earlier time and sign in again. 
 Trying to be humble (yes, seriously!), I looked up is’s signout time as we had left together and I had no idea of what time, to find he had not signed in to begin with. Asked for brownie points back.

is walked through back door as one of the sometime-supervisors spotted me from the office and pounced:

“There you are,” he said, “you’re the one I need! Can you come here now!”

Gave up humility. “So does he,” I said, “and we arranged a date. Perhaps you two want to arm-wrestle and let me know who wins.”

s-s was wearing the reflective vest so had obviously won the last rock, scissors, paper round, so I got to join him in the library (me quipping “In the library with a poker?”) for a written complaint. Not about me, but about a different website not having any of the information that WAS/IS on my/our site. I explained that different website did have a link to my/our site, which is named Diamond Harbour Civil Defence Helpline. Explained different website, despite being named Diamond Harbour, was privately owned and maintained, as was a second different website of same name, and both were being gracious providing links to CD site. Said that I, and is-now intern, would deal with it.

Went back to is-ni, who had brought wife along. Sorted him out while explaining to her, Net access patchy so sent them home to guests who use Google sites so could talk him through the basics as well as I. Gave him my contact details in case of trouble.

Signed out, did NOT leave after-hours number as requested, told all who thanked me that it had been an interesting experience. Went back to P’s and plotted overthrow with various community members.

Heading back to Dunedin tomorrow, or at least that’s tonight’s plan.

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