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Dr John Hawkins

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More Firefighting and an Encounter with a Billionaire

Posted on 2007/10/27 13:13:32 (October 2007).

[Thursday 25th October]
I had a pitiful six hours sleep last night. Well, six hours is really an upper bound - it is the interval of time between when I stopped working the previous night (2AM) and started working again this morning (8AM). It's very difficult to go straight from working to trying to get to sleep, especially with the hugely stressful day I'd just had, so it was probably more like 5 hours tops. I really can't function well without a decent night's sleep, I was like a zombie most of today.

Whilst the main fires of yesterday did seem to be resolved, another one sprang up today, although thankfully I did manage to get it sorted out more or less within office hours - I worked from 8 until 6, and then another hour later on in the evening just to check everything was OK - so only a 10 or 11 hour day today.

The other event of the day - as if I didn't have enough to be stressed about - was that I'd somehow got signed up to give a presentation to one of our senior vice presidents about the project I'm working on. With the exception of the troubles we've been having this week, things are going rather well I think, so I was very upbeat about the whole thing. I think it went really well, I got the message across and the SVP seemed very excited about it. Amidst all the angst of this week, that definitely was a high point.

In fact, it turned out that one of our founders was also in the office today. I am not going to mention his name as you may have noticed I never mention the name of my company here, and that would rather give it away... but anyone that knows me will be able to make a good guess. So I took an hour our of my otherwise fairly hectic day to go and see a presentation he was giving to the engineers at the London office. It was really quite exciting to be in a small room in such close proximity to an incredibly successful man like this - I don't think I've ever been in the presence of a billionaire before (oh, apart from Richard Branson I suppose). In my time at my previous company I never got to meet (or even see) any of the big bosses, so I really appreciate that the people at the top here make themselves so approachable to the rank and file like me.

Made a sort of a red wine stew for dinner, but it wasn't all that great - I was just finding it very hard to relax this evening, and couldn't wait for this stressful week to be over.

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