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Dr John Hawkins

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On Being Randomised

Posted on 2007/12/02 17:41:08 (December 2007).

[Thursday 29th November]
The last couple of months have been pretty tough going at work. The team I work on in London has been hovering at around four or five members for most of the year, however, as the project is now ramping up, and given that we've been seen to be doing a pretty good job, the decision was made to expand our small team to more than double its' original size. Whilst in the long run this ought to make my life easier, as there'll be other people to take on some of my responsibilities, in the short term it is actually making my life significantly harder. There's a lot to come up to speed on, and it means, and quite naturally so, that all the new people have a lot of questions, and need a lot of hand-holding before they're ready to take stuff on all alone. I don't begrduge anyone that - we've all been there - but whilst giving support to 1 or 2 people in that situation is fairly manageable on top of my normal work, having to do that for 6 or 7 people makes it really hard for me to get any of my own tasks done at all. They're often quite literally forming a queue at my desk, and I've had days recently where all I do is sort out other people's problems one after another, without any gaps at all to get the actual stuff I'm supposed to be doing done. The common term for this in the industry appears to be "being randomised".

My manager (and his manager) is very aware of the situation, so I suppose it's not too bad in a sense - it's not as though anyone is complaining at me that I'm not getting my own work done. Plus I suppose there is a sense of satisfaction in being able to help out other people... but I do find this kind of work really draining, and there's a sort of sense of frustration about not being able to control what I work on, because I'm basically just at the beck and call of anyone who needs help from me.

Oh well. I suppose they're paying me for it, so I can't really complain. It may be a bit frustrating at times, but it's hardly coal mining.

Given that this was one of those sorts of days, by the end of it I was pretty knackered and feeling decidedly lazy as regards sorting something out for dinner. So for dinner I just picked me and Chie up a couple of pizzas from our nearest Pizza Express on the way home.

Comment 1

In my family coal mining was "ten minutes hard physical work, seven hours fifty minutes repetition". Is that what you meant?

Posted by John's Mum at 2007/12/03 11:37:52.

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