Musings

It’s the end of my week, and I’m exhausted, but it’s more of an emotional exhaustion than anything particularly physical.

For the most part it’s concern for the people I manage at work and the unsettled period we’re in. Everyone is feeling under pressure, unsurprisingly, and I am trying to set boundaries so that I don’t burn myself out.

Don’t get me wrong, I am hugely enjoying the work and the challenges. I’m still trying to let go of the old one, and the urge to sort everything myself rather than letting my staff handle it.

Boundaries. They’re important. Damn hard work though.

Spinning More Plates

A busy week, and moments of needing to go and have a walk away from the screen, but generally feeling positive today. That probably means I’m missing something obvious.

On the other hand, I seem to have started a new D&D game with some people on one of the Discord servers I’m on. There’s something about introducing new people to the game that really appeals, and so last night’s intro session gave me a wonderful boost. Hearing people have those light bulb moments as they got to grips with the potential of the game is always wonderful.

That’s probably why the work side of life today wasn’t as onerous as it might have been, spirits well and truly lifted

Heat Haze

Was a bit of a mixed day, first with taking Lady M to the hospital (nothing serious, a consultation and steps forward) and then back to supporting my staff as in theory the UK lifted more restrictions.

We’re keeping most of the safety procedures in place for staff and public safety, even as people are pinged to go into isolation. For the most part that’s simple enough, and everyone is rising to the challenged with aplomb and even the occasional bit of enthusiasm. Even the heat isn’t getting too much in the way. People are being sensible, by and large, or at least the ones dropping by are.

I’ve been working with partner organisations on a number of things today, so it has felt like a number of little breakthroughs and milestones have been achieved despite the heat – if nothing else each positive result made taking a cool drink afterwards feel like a reward.

Hello There Weekend

Nice weather on a Friday? Oh good, that made for a nice lunchbreak, and then as good an excuse as any to go check in on one if the other sites that was having a few problems with their heating.

All’s well that ends the second week of the new job. There’s been more of a sense of moving with purpose and a team starting to cohere – with only the usual number of roadbumps along the way.

I also had a chance to check in on how my parents are doing by way of a conveniently timed phonecall – even with Tuesday’s news they’re in good spirits, and I was able to cheer my mum up with some anecdotes about current challenges. That was a nice interlude.

And now to the weekend. I’m on call so can’t do anything particularly outrageous tomorrow, but at least I can enjoy the sun on my balcony.

Getting Organised

I had a moment this afternoon of sudden clarity and managed to get some things sorted out that will help make life at work a bit more streamlined for people. Suddenly I was doing something proactive rather than reactive and it was a lovely moment of feeling that I might be getting a handle on things after all.

To be fair, it has been an odd day, with reports of broken keysafes, vomiting children, and rogue pigeons in library spaces today. Fortunately these have all been in different libraries, but as I’ve the brief for all of them they all got funnelled my way. My staff dealt with each issue with aplomb and humour and I’m very lucky to have such versatile talents working for me.

I guess this counts as a moment of job satisfaction? Off in search of the next challenge…

Back To It

I dove back into working today to get my brain focused on anything other than spinning in circles – though it was mostly meetings and training sessions. That said it did allow me to get all my branch managers together in one place for the first time and congratulate them on surviving their first week.

There’s a lot of changes happening very quickly, and a lot of juggling of priorities, and they’re rising to the challenges with aplomb and no more quiet cursing than you might hope for – especially the ones who haven’t been a manager before. They’re a good bunch.

This evening Lady M had a migraine, so I’ve mostly unwound by playing Destiny2 and trying some different loadouts and activities in the game. Not a bad end to the day.

What Day Is It?

My number one response to people asking how the new job is going is to tell them that I’m tired, and that I currently have great difficulty tracking which day it is. This is largely because I haven’t worked regularly either on a Monday or indeed in a full time job for quite some time.

So, here I am with my body thinking its Friday night on a Thursday but with a reasonable sense of achievement. Nothing has gone horribly wrong, or at least nothing has gone awry that we haven’t been able to fix – the libraries are still open, and we’re gearing up for a Summer of interesting family activities.

There are always grumbles and hiccups, and I may have got a bit stressed from time to time at the beginning of the week, but so far so good. I’ve only had to call HR for advice once, on my peers for reality checks every other day, and the managers working for me are getting used to my calls and Teams messages with general aplomb.

I’ve got a training conference tomorrow. It’ll get me out of the office and I’m looking forward to escaping the timesheets for a few hours.

Designs and Markets

There has been a shift in how Amazon handles designs for their merch initiative, and it has been a joy to realise just how wide a reach this potentially gives me in terms of markets. It isn’t just the UK and the US, but countries in mainland Europe in the form of France and Germany, and Japan.

The new markets can be selected, but I need of course to translate my copy to the appropriate language for each market. French is fine, but my German and Japanese are non-existent. Fortunately Lady M made a quiet suggestion to use a site that she has been taking advantage of at work: www.deepl.com

It is, at its heart, a translation website and I have to say so far I’ve been quietly impressed at how easy it has been to use. Well worth adding to your toolbox, I’d say.

Frontline No More

The universe plainly decided that I needed another last Saturday at the pit face, and so people went sick or on holiday and I stepped into the breach.

By now there’s no doubt I’m in the new role properly – I was in conversation via Teams with other senior managers about a number of issues, and my branch managers were keeping me copied in as they resolved or headed off issues.

And at the same time, as we closed up the small library this evening, I’d be lying if there wasn’t a small pang as I took some pictures to remind me:

Next week… well I already know the main challenges lined up. We’ll see what happens.

Speeding Up

I’m not going to do a series of “this is my last…” for the days of the week – it gets repetitive quickly. It is still dawning on me though that I’m basically now doing the new job and the handover is accelerating.

This is both wonderful and frustrating as there’s still that need to help people in between the rotas and negotiations and they’re all important things to be doing – and I’m now deep in the planning of my movements next week around various libraries to welcome not one but two brand new managers to their roles.

In more mundane news, I have a new xbox controller. It arrived yesterday, just in time for some football match that got Lady M and a number of people on the estate rather excited. I didn’t choose the colours with any more thought than “that’s nice” but it was a nice coincidence to have a win happen.