Thursday, February 16, 2006

Far West

I attended a meeting yesterday with the Head of IT of a local council in the far western suburbs of Sydney, just below the foothills of the Blue Mountains. What a comedy of errors it was to get there! I think I have forgotten the art of preparing for a long trip to somewhere I haven't been before. I was running late after printing out instructions for getting there from at the last minute. Hurrying to the station I realised I forgot my wallet. Fortunately, Sarah offered to get money out for me from a nearby ATM. In the process, she accidentally dropped her bank card into the receipt slot. Goodbye bank card. We managed to force the cover of the receipt box open under the gaze of a suspicious ATM customer behind us and no doubt the hidden ATM camera above us. I managed to repair the receipt box cover with a bit of hip action once we'd fished the card out. Then I missed the train so I ran up to the bus stop and caught a bus to a nearby station and caught a train from there to Strathfield where I had to change trains. At Strathfield the broadcast announcements for the trains were all mixed up. I was standing on the incorrect platform for the train that I needed to catch. I realised something was amiss and fortunately managed to locate a person who knew what platform the train arrived on. Finally, I caught the Katoomba train and arrived at my destination at exactly 10am for my meeting, quite exhausted and very sweaty.

The meeting went fine and I was excited to finally be out in the world putting my plans into action. However, the impression I got from the Head of IT was that my project will involve the approval of all the Managers of the various sections of the Council and it will be difficult to convince them of its merit since it has broad implications and no real direct benefits for the organisation itself. I do think he was interested in the approach and could certainly see that something would come out of it but he seemed a bit negative about the reaction of the other Managers. He said he'd speak to them about the project early next week. This reaction has been pretty consistent to date from all the organisations I've approached. Without being able to identify immediate value for the organisation, they seem concerned about the loss of time to staff and the difficulties of obtaining the support of the key people involved.

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