C P BOUND
Back at last in dear old Bogcaster and, holidays behind me, I once more take up my onerous directorial responsibilities. The reins of power are back in my hands.
The first task, after an unprecedented three weeks away, is to get a briefing from my section managers on what has been happening in my absence. Dave, affecting disinterest in my return, responded to my “What’s been going on then?” with a lazy “Nothing much.” It seems he has no decisions waiting for my return, no problems to consult me on, nothing at all, in fact, he thinks is worthy of bringing to my attention.
Charlie is not much better. In answer to the same enquiry he tells me that Alice has stopped seeing Paul and is now reported to be dating Pete from desktop support, Gordon has had a modest win on the lottery, Jenny has lost her cat, and Wayne scored the winner for the Flea and Faceache in the opening Sunday league match yesterday.
With the end of the holidays approaching, the lotus eaters are straggling back. The casualty count is not too bad this year. We have two programmers in Greek jails, one analyst in traction in Portugal, and a couple of operators apparently lost in the Colombian jungle.
E-mail arrives from the Colombian People’s Front claiming to be holding the operators and asking for a ransom of $300,000 for their safe return. Ridiculous! Contract operators can be hired these days for £180 a day, tops.
E-mail arrives from the operators confirming that they sobered up this morning and have dealt with their captors, who were, as they put it, “only lightly armed”. They will be back by Monday. I told Dave to cancel the instructions to the agency.
Having spent much of the week struggling with the e-mail backlog, I arrived this morning to find there are still 12,965 unopened messages awaiting my attention. These include at least 750 with the subject “You’ve left your headlights on!” and dated last Tuesday, when it appears there was a torrential downpour just as people were driving in to work. Eventually I deleted everything unread and sent a global saying, “Sorry my e-mails have been lost – if there is anything important you sent me since the beginning if August, please resend now.” By the close of play today, one person has resent their message. It is from Jenny and asks whether by any chance I have seen a black and white tom answering to the name Mr Tiddles?
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This was first published in August 2006