06 February 2008

Early Morning Onwards

Regulars are becoming familiar with the new timetable now, after a couple of months. This is probably just in time for some interim changes in May. But as I remarked to one acquaintance yesterday, it's not much more than a year ago that we all took the 0717: we switched our allegiance to the 0707 a year back when there was a particularly disastrous timetable change, but now many of us are aiming at the 0700. In fact, that train usually runs so much to time that we miss it, as we are accustomed to the train companies polite few minutes of leeway, and end up with the 0711 and a wait on an exposed platform (thank goodness for this mild weather!). That can, however, turn up after the 0720, causing those crazy lemming-like migrations across the station to reach the right platform. And the 0711 (from Great Malvern, or Moreton or somewhere up that way, via Oxford) is usually busier than the 0720, which comes from Cheltenham.
If I aim for the 0700 and end up on the 0720, my overall journey time approaches two hours, which is becoming the norm when you add in a track circuit failure, frozen points or just plain old congestion at Reading. So I have to spend my time on the train productively. Yesterday I loaded some papers into my bag, but when I retreived them this morning I found that one document in which the client had painstakingly inserted comments had contrived to print out without them. I am at the end of my patience with the IT systems at the office. The other day my computer was responding strangely, and Erkan on the helpdesk (now known as the service desk, though I think help is about all they have time to dispense) instructed me to log off then place both hands on the keyboard depressing as many keys as possible. I asked if this was an approved technical fix, and he said words to the effect that I should just trust him. Sure enough it cleared something that was stuck.
The introduction of pull printing should be a great step forward. However, it means that I have to attend at the printer personally to swipe my card (and if I am using a temporary card to gain access to the building, having left my own at home, I cannot print this way at all) where I will have to stand and wait while it churns out my documents. These might have been sent to print the previous day and might be ones that I would prefer to print elsewhere - like the document with the client's comments inserted, which was where this train of thought began. I'd have sent it to a colour printer so I could see the comments in red - as it is, they have been stripped out or perhaps printed in white. Because I have spent so much time in charge of my own IT systems, and have built them up to do what I need, I get frustrated trying to work with a system devised by someone else.

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