Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Phone numbers and phones no longer with us – work dramas becoming less - managing a team of four – board gaming near marine life collectors – circuit boards are common - the latest quiz

Week ending Sept  25th  2012

Last week I got sick of my ‘new’ phone, a cheap Nokia, and decided to get my Sony (ex-NZ) into play. So that was Thursday. On Friday I left work and cycled home. Saturday morning there was no phone to find…anywhere; not even at work and certainly not on the road, considering the number of foot traffic out and about day and night. Saturday afternoon I queued at Timor Telecom clutching an old business card from six years ago and requested that number again. After some consideration a new SIM was re-set to my old number and I paid $3. That was clever, eh!, as most people just get a new number. Too bad I didn’t know anyone’s phone numbers and they couldn’t ring me anyway, as they didn’t know my ‘new’ one. A bad ‘Plan A’. I have now got my lost number back and am using the old phone again. A friend, Tracey, has been in Dili for a few years, gave me a large spread sheet of several hundred useful numbers this afternoon, so I can put the key ones into my phone.

Work has settled somewhat, with a mediator/investigator appointed and a couple of big meetings held over the weekend where grievances were aired and addressed. Fortunately two of the Board of Governors are either current or ex Parliamentarians, so they knew how to handle the crowd. I missed one of the meetings as no one could ring me and I couldn’t ring them + an arranged meeting I actually knew about was cancelled, so the one place I knew to go to had no one there.

We’re now looking for a project manager for the MIS rollout and that is on  My contribution to the advertisement was outlining the importance that applicants know how to actually run a project and some proof that the applicant has been successful in the past.

My four staff are making use of their diaries and picking up on the tasks with some enthusiasm… to varying degrees of success. Still, I’ve managed to get them a whiteboard for their room and have requested the hinge be fixed so the door opens and shuts + a key to lock it and make sure that the computers are still there after lunch and the next morning.

Sunday afternoon was a nice one and I had a late lunch at the ‘Castaway’ on Beach road before playing some stiff competition with ‘Settlers of Catan’. On the way to the venue, we passed about 7 biologists gathered around a table in porch/courtyard area, examining a haul of fish and fauna down to worm sized. All scooped from the sea on a scuba expedition that morning. There is a diving company based at the Castaway, so that is the connection. Further along the wall was a stack of plastic packing crates, I assumed they would be packing their samples into the crates and then returning to Australia – how DO you get dead sea creatures through customs and Agriculture?

Three of us are running twice a week along the beach past the airport, We can make it to the special building erected in 1989 for the Pope's visit, before turning back again. My most interesting find has been a circuit board from a communications unit of some sort. I took it home and washed the sea and sand out of it, but the resale value is probably gone. Even though CRC sprayed on the rust marks helps mechanical things, it is counterproductive with items that are this sensitive.

Someone else ran the quiz last night, but I supplied the questions. Managed to take part by not having looked at said questions, because I just forwarded the email onwards. One give away to the quiz origin (New Zealand) was the number of NZ-focused questions. It didn’t help that our Kiwi team got most of them wrong, but this wasn’t pointed out by anyone and another nationality, think Republican/Democrat, was running the show anyway. We ended up as 3=

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