Sunday, April 29, 2007

The cycle of busy is winding down...

I have been notably absent as many of you have noticed.

Part of it is the new job wherein I am launching two projects at the same time. Those of you who manage projects know that usually, in fact almost always, you have some projects in flight and one that you are starting....this is because for the project manager the phase of a project that takes the most effort is the launch. There is the creation of the project, where one establishes the scope, in other words we are changing this system, but not these components of it, building the team, establishing the amount of work to be done and who will do it, as well as establishing the project communications. That does not even take the requirements into account.

So for the last 5 weeks, I have been extremely focusses on requirements for a project, in and out of Boston for project meetings, working on multiple large documents, and managing an extremely high incidence of problems with my laptop at work. The laptop problems have been just eating about 25% of my time....but we finally made some changes, and installed Office 2007 which has all but eliminated the issues....(BTW, Office 2007 is way cool, there are these automatic formatting options for Tables and spreadsheets which yield very professional looking results.)

So Friday I delivered the big docs and the first phase of one project, as well as started working on the Statement of Work for the feels good to get those done, and I am looking forward to things tapering down to just a mere frenetic pace.

The best part of all of this, is that I am enjoying myself, and apparently it is showing, because one of the clients has awarded 3 more projects to my company based on my performance and style so far on the current project. I am not sure how much it comes to, but my bosses, the head of client service and the CEO are quite happy for that, which reflects well on me, and makes me feel soooooo good after being run into the ground by the Behemoth.

In addition to the new job, I also started a class through the local Small Business Development Center on starting a business. Because I was unemployed for a time this year, my class was 75% funded by some unknown source, and the class started in April. It's two nights a week, and about 2 Saturday mornings a week. So two nights a week, I run from work to this class and maybe get a bite to eat if I am lucky. The rest of the time I starve until my late dinner. The good news is that I am knitting socks in class, I finished one sock last week, and started a second sock in the Saturday class, which I should make good progress on this week as well. I should make a significant dent in the sock yarn due to the class.

The class is supposed to get me a complete business plan at the end, including financials and other supporting information. Anyway, I am hoping to get through the business plan, which I tried to do on my own with not so much success, so that is the goal, that and some assistance with marketing and other issues that feel awkward and scarey to me.

The downer is that the teacher is "old school", which is business code for a crotchety old man, who has issues with woman, especially the ones like me that don't "know their place". He has these ideas that there are only 1.5 million households in the US with knitters. I told him that there are 38 million knitters and crotcheters in the US, and that the TKGA and CGOA would know....he still does not believe it.

He also has issues with the idea that one should shop around for your various services, that one should not have to pay for banking services, I could go on. The bottom line is that the guy is a real downer and there are no other instructors that teach in the evenings.

Anyway, I did speak to another one of the instructors, a woman, and she was very supportive of my business concept, as well as supporting me in class this weekend, when my instructor yet again contradicted me in the class about value for money.....

Anyway, somewhere in the middle of all of this, I saw a man about a horse, which has since joined my stable......I recently picked up a Canadian tilt-tension production wheel at an antique store downtown in my own town. I got it for a song, it looks fully functional although it needs some TLC, from me and also from Will Taylor, also in my town. Will wants to see it in a few weeks, and is going to go over it and generally tune it, replace the footman, the leather bearings.

The timing is good because I am not doing much spinning anyway....I think my old school business teacher might frown a bit if I brought a spinning wheel to class.

So pics from the night she came home....First the mother of all. Note the original provenance, I.e. dust on the mother of all and the table.

Here is the wheel full view. Littlest really got into the horse metaphor, she is using the drive band as reins and trying to get the horse to Giddup!.

Here she is after a little scrubbing with a damp cloth. I also removed the drive band, because quite frankly it was nasty with crud.

So thanks to all of you who asked after me, I am still here, but just frenetic crazy busy, rushing headlong through my weeks like a bat outta hell. Keep your eyes peeled for posts and for business news as well.


Bezzie said...

Wow! Great acquisition!

Re: Crotchety old instructor man--at least you didn't have to pay for 75% of the class??? Yikes. Can't wait til those people die out.

cpurl17 said...

Yay! Glad to hear you're coming up to the surface!

michele said...

that's a beautiful wheel and i can't believe you got it in an antique shop. every time we pass one my husband says lets go in and see if they have a spinning wheel. i tell him there's no way they will. have to eat my words now and start looking harder.

all best with your course and business development idea. i think you'll be successful.