Honestly, when I signed up for a stint as project management, I had visions of being snowed under with pie and GANTT charts, trying to co-ordinate teams from around the world – but all from the comfort of a nice comfy chair in a nice office next to a farm. This hasn’t quite turned out to be the case.
I share my basement office with a few developers, and a collection of old books, desks, bookshelves, office equipment, computer logs, dot matrix printers and magnetic computer tapes dating back to the 1970s. With the arrival of another employee, all this had to go. A task that fell on my shoulders.
So the logs got shredded. The books were recycled or given to the library. The desks went to the big depot in the sky, as did the bookshelves. We all cooed at the office equipment and dot matrix printers, before giving them back to systems. Which left the magnetic computer tapes. My boss told me to get rid of them – so I took the box down to the skip, and threw them in.
Whereupon a breathless analyst (who saw me at said skip – honestly, there’s no privacy when you step outside around here!) ran up to me and told me not to throw them in said skip, since they all contained data that needed to be magnetically erased before being disposed of in a proper recyclable manner. Who knew that magnetic computer tapes could be recycled? Who’d want to?
But this left us with a problem, of about 30 tapes inside a skip. Which would have to be retrieved somehow. My suggestion of simply clambering in was immediately nixed, since apparently the scientists in the office also used the skip to dispose of their test tubes and chemicals. So unless I was prepared to wear a chemical protection suit on a hot summers day, clambering into the skip was out. Thus, I found myself on a hot summers day running around trying to find any kind of rake or spade that might help in retrieving said items from the skip.
For comedy purposes, I would like to say that I eventually had to wear a rubbery yellow suit and dive into the skip to rescue these tapes from a landfilled-death, while sweating inside the suit and smelling nothing but the foul stench of the skip and my own body odour – but fortunately (or unfortunately), after an hour or so of skillful manipulation, the tapes were out. Phew.
Then a week later, I found myself on the roof of the building helping a colleague erect an aerial mast so we could detect signals 40 miles away.
I know the job description offered travel to unique locations, but I’m not sure a skip and a roof is what they had in mind.