Even this update is out of date. I wrote all these blog posts last weekend, but forgot to post them online…

I think I ought to start even before I went to South Africa. The last 2 weeks before I left were incredibly hectic. This was mostly due to work. There was good news and bad news.

You may remember that I was having a particularly difficult time on one of my projects – the one based in Manchester. A new interim director had stuck his nose into our project and made life very difficult for the entire project team, due to his arrogance, lack of understanding and condescending manner. Due to this our project was delayed and focuses were changed. I hated even going into work, which was such a shame as I had loved working there the past 12 months.

A week or so before our new go-live date, I got a call from one of the others on the project to tell me that she had important news that couldn’t wait until I was back on site. She proceeded to read me an email which contained the very good news that this difficult director had left the organisation with immediate effect. We had to read between the lines, of course. We can’t be sure that he was fired, but I know what I think about it …!

On my next day in, I was asked to take over as Project Manager again, and we successfully completed the project according to our original plan.

The final week leading up to the Go-Live was busy and hectic as we had to plan the subsequent hand-over too. And the last thing I needed was a phone call from my NHS project asking whether the report I was compiling for them for end of October could be brought forward to before I went to South Africa? My initial answer was “no!”, but I was asked whether I couldn’t “make a plan …?”. I didn’t think it was possible. It was Wednesday afternoon and I was flying out on Tuesday afternoon. Thursday, Friday and Monday I was working on the Manchester project! But not wanting to let them down, I started working day and night (including the weekend) until I flew out. The final report was sent about 2 hours before I was due to leave the house!! I was a walking zombie when I got onto that plane …

Now that I am back from holiday, I have a new pressing deadline on the same project! My Manchester Project officially finished on Friday. However, they have asked that I come back in twice a month just to continue their iPOS (Sun Financials eProcurement application) training programme until Christmas. So I am only contracted for 4 days per week to the end of the year, and 3 days per week from the new year. I am looking forward to the odd day off between now and Christmas. There are so many things which have been put on the back-burner over the past few months.

I am hoping the economy will pick up a little in the new year, and that there will be more work available, but only time will tell.