Friday, February 17, 2006

Hell week is over!

Now that my stress level is starting to return to normal, I thought I should probably share a bit. Sorry for this marathon entry that may be very boring but I'm just going to spill it all out and hopefully get it out of my system :)

I have developed an even greater appreciation for event planners this week. This past week I was responsible for organizing some training for about 12 Postal Inspectors and 12 Technical Staff. The training is on Wireless Networks and Video Camera Surveillence systems that I'm also responsible for. So our schedule was to have the classroom training on Thursday and an on-site physical installation of two systems on Friday.

Monday - 8AM - 11AM
Monday morning I started making my follow-up calls to the two trainers (from two different companies) to make sure that everything was set and to see if they needed me to provide anything for them. I finally reached one of the trainers on his cell phone after several attempts. He was in Arizona at a conference and was not planning to return until Friday!!! His back-up trainer was standing next to him with the same schedule!

Panic sets in.

Luckily, after going through the possible alternatives, he was willing to cut his trip short and would there on Thursday. Phew!

Second panic attack of the day consisted of the expected class size dropping from about 15 to 2! I quickly made a few calls and within a few hours we were back up to around 12. Phew!

Third panic attack of the day was that none of the attendees were availble on Friday for the physical installation portion. After serveral calls between the vedor and the local technical staff we arranged to perform the installation on Wednesday instead of Friday at two post offices in Washington, DC. Phew!

Fourth - I still had A LOT of prep work to be performed on the laptops, digital video recroders and wireless antennas in order to be ready for the two installation and the training.

Fifth - My Monday evening plans (dinner at Fell's Point in Baltimore with T) were cancelled. I guess, in hind-sight, this was a mixed blessing. I was definitely bummed but it allowed me to work late and get a lot done.

Monday night Slade dragged me to his singles ward FHE Valentine's day dinner. I was really not feeling the least bit social (shocking, I know) but since his car had a flat I took pity on him :). It actually turned out just fine and it got my mind of the rest of the week for a bit.

Tuesday
I spent the day getting the wireless antenna ready for tomorrow's installation and working on the configurations of 10 laptops and 10 digital video recorders. I only worked until about 11PM. Oh yeah, Happy V-Day.

Wednesday
In the morning I got everything organized for the installations. Mike helped me out a ton by continuing to configure the laptops and DVRs for training tomorrow. At about noon I left to meet the tech staff and vendor at the Congress Heights Post Office in DC. This post office has had a history of robberies so it is going to be a pilot site for the system. We got the wireless network antenna mounted on the roof but we struggled to get the laptop to communicate properly. After a couple of hours of double-checking everything we discovered that one item was wrong. Luckily it is all working now, but we were unable to complete the second installation.
I had to bail at about 4PM to meet up with Tara, Lara, and Scott to go to the George Mason basketball game (thanks Tara). I was pretty much out-of-it all evening - plus I had not eaten all day - not even a single DC! Chicken strips and my first DC of the day was enjoyed as we watched GM beat Drexel. Then it was back to work to setup the training room for tomorrow's training. Unfortunately the area of the building where the training room is was locked and the alarm was set. That meant I now had to get up early tomorrow and setup the room before training at 9AM - no problem.

Thursday
I got up early, setup of the training room with 10 digital video recorders and 10 laptops. Had to create 4 network cross-over cables because I could not find enough. Setup the projector. The trainers arrived and got setup. All the attendees showed up. We ended up with 24 students equally split between Postal Inspectors (the criminal investigators) and Technical Staff (the installers of these systems) plus a few other staff semi-attending. The Inspector-In-Charge kicked it off, lunch was ordered, the planets alligned, and my blood pressure showed signs of lowering. All in all, I think everyone was impressed with the training and the capabilities of these systems. There were some concerns that surfaced regarding legal (evidence) requirements but I think we figured it out to their satisfaction.

Ultimate frisbee was a great stress release. The near two feet of snow from last weekend is now mostly melted. The field was extremely muddy (and snowy in the shaded areas). Unfortunately Bronwyn twisted her ankle pretty badly.

Friday
Exhausted, physically and emotional. I was having a hard time focusing on work so I completely ignored it by finalizing my Utah travel plans and writing this blog update. I'm looking forward to the long weekend, but I have NO plans and it is supposed to very cold and windy. Oh well, at least I don't have to think about work.

I'm glad this week turned out to be a success in the end. Several times this week it was not looking like it could possibly be a positive experience at all. But it all worked out. Thanks to the support I received from those who knew how my week was going while in the thick of it.

I hopefully I won't inflict you with another blog of this size any time soon.

Comments on "Hell week is over!"

 

Anonymous matt said ... (Saturday, February 18, 2006 5:48:00 PM) : 

crazy, crazy, crazy. I hope you find something fun to do this weekend.
-Matt

 

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