Thursday, September 14, 2006
I had to attend knowledge group meeting (poncy term for the technical leaders from across the UK and beyond meeting in a small room to share ignorance and lead the technical side of the company forward in something vaguely resembling a coordinated manner) in our Bradford office today.
I met up with a colleague just off a motorway junction as agreed, but then we had to face up to the traffic news, the M62 eastbound is closed.
It would have been a lovely drive across the back roads, with some lovely views in places…if it hadn’t been lashing it down half the time and if the fog hadn’t been so dense that I couldn’t see more than 10 foot beyond the front of the bonnet at times.
Still at least I like the colleague in question and he was very understanding about the dripping water into the passenger footwell due to the still undiagnosed leak. He also attended Greenbelt for the first ever time this year so we had stuff to talk about other than work (though it feels really odd letting someone from work have an insight into that side of my life).
Arriving over an hour late we found that the meeting hadn’t actually started yet as the technology that was supposed to allow our colleague in India join by telephone conference and the two from the southern part of the UK join by video conference was refusing to work.
The Sametime meeting room was fine, but whilst it can be useful for sharing documents etc, you can’t really carry out a meeting by text.
Eventually we managed one hour with India on a direct phone call and then in the afternoon we eventually got the video link with the south working.
Environmentally our company really tries to push video-conferencing to reduce travelling, but to win that argument the technology needs to work. Mind you the car travel option didn’t exactly stand up well today either.
Once the meeting eventually wraps (the afternoon was actually really productive) we’re eager to get back, so I forego the opportunity to catch up with those in the office I know from when I worked out of Bradford for a short while the other year, in favour of heading home, grateful that the motorway system is now at least functioning reasonably well.