End of the week…

Well, its the end of another week… and still not much to say.

I did write those two ITIL exams on Friday and found them more challenging than the previous three written two weeks ago. The format still makes me cringe a bit, and the wording, the UK-centric language, and the murky answers all contribute to a questionable value. The five exams are part of the testing, or piloting of the exam cycle… and if I want to teach any of the knowledge areas that the exams are centred on, I do need to pass the exams and get certification first. So, its a bit of a bonus to be able to write the pilot exams in an effort to get an early certification and therefore be in a better position for the company to offer training… hopefully we can be one of the first organizations out of the blocks with the proper offerings.

I spent the afternoon on Friday at a retreat for our Consulting group. It was held above the Ukrainian Bookstore at Fort Edmonton Park… a lovely reconstructed ‘pioneer village museum’ concept park in the river valley. The actual event was just ‘okay’; no stunning revelations or new approaches. Even the guest speaker, although interesting (spoke about possible synergies between Consulting and Finance and Audit) there wasn’t anything earth shattering, or even earth shaking in his talk. I was quite disappointed in the catering; there wasn’t anything that I could eat beyond a couple of pieces of melon. For some reason, it never even occurred to me that I needed to remind the support staff that I can’t do gluten… my fault, I know. They can’t be expected to remember everything. Its a good thing that I’ve gotten into the habit of carrying a protein bar and an Ensure in my briefcase/backpack. Its just a wee bit embarrassing, however, to be sitting there, protein bar in hand, while everyone else is tucking into lasagna (vegetarian and regular), a Caesar salad with crumbled croutons and a dressing of questionable origins, and some pretty amazing looking (and smelling…mmmmmmm) dessert squares. Its not a pleasant thing to have to explain to the event organizers why you’re not eating what was being offered, especially after other members of the team have made noises about making sure that I did eat to gain the much needed weight. Its just not worth discussing some things; my world is so full of contradictions at the moment. But I did get, by default, a nice bottle of white wine. It was one of the door prizes (incentives for showing up at these retreats!) won by a newer member of the team I’m working directly with, who just happens to be a practicing Muslim, and therefore does not drink. So he passed the bottle to me… I do feel a little bad for him; its Ramadan, and he’s having a heck of time with the day time fasting. He caved, and ate lunch with everyone else.

One of the things that did stick with from the retreat was the thought that I have to get on with ‘building eminence’ within the company and the community, generally. Now that I’m back form the hiatus imposed by the cancer, and now that the first series of the new ITIL exams have been dealt with, I need to go to work on establishing myself in the ITIL consulting space, as a separate entity from, or within the team. Its true that a lot of the work flows to me, but people aren’t thinking of me first. The work is redirected by other members of the core team. And there are certain opportunities that I am not being considered for. I worry that its because of the bout with cancer. The timeline may not have moved far enough for other members (and managers) of the Consulting group to be confident that I am a safe investment… That I find to be a depressing thought. So I need to figure out a way to build my eminence and profile really quickly, efficiently and effectively.

And now for a quick change of topic:
I had a quick look into the attic this morning. We’ve been having some challenges with heat this summer, and I got to wondering whether or not the attic insulation might have something to do with it. Rather obvious approach, isn’t it? Ya, well… I’m not always that good at checking out the obvious first… So, anyway, I discovered that the attic is full of Weathershield branded blown insulation, and even found a certificate in the roof joists which says that there are nine inches of the stuff, giving an R-32 rating. And it does look like the right amount of insulation is there… with at least one low patch near an outside wall. I wasn’t about to go crawling around in that stuff to verify depth throughout. I’m thinking that a call to an insulation company may be a good idea. Maybe an additional 3 inches of insulation might be a good idea? In any event, I’m starting to think that the heat problem may be a lack of insulation in the exterior walls… Again, though, I think I need a conversation with one of the experts.

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