Thursday, 11 October 2012

France: As we did it


We were off
It could have lasted longer but for events completely out of our control. A butterfly apparently flapped its wings in America and it caused a hurricane in Europe.
A month ago, I jetted off to France to lead a deployment team that was to visit over 20 countries in the following 6 months – I was full of excitement.
Our arrival in the dreadful Charles de Gaulle airport had me walking literally a mile in Terminal 2 to meet up with other members of my party who had flown in from Manchester.
Disarray we could do without
Our firm had engaged a travel agent that just seemed to make a mess of our car hire, our hotel bookings and much else, a turn-around journey that could have lasted less than 5 hours took the best part of 11; we were not pleased.
When we got to our hotel, we just knew this was not where we wanted to spend the next 20 days, in the middle of nowhere, far from facilities and sentenced to pizza deliveries in the witching hour, something had to give.
Our firm got this sorted that we ended up in another hotel from the third night, it was further away from Paris but it had a life about it and good transport connections to our place of work and into Paris.
Not ready but going steady
Work was interesting, there was much to do but one could not vouch for the preparedness of the whole process to deliver what we were there to do.
In the end, we got some progress and things began to pick up as upheavals, dismissals and disbandment circled around us that we needed to seek assurances of all concerned.
One had to be able and deft, we won through and delivered on our remit, sought improvements to certain implementations and took the opportunity to offer advice that we thought could make things go even better.
Good for me
Though we were to be out there for 21 days with 6 days off, we did 24 days with only three days off, sometimes working the unholiest hours, caught in French detours of traffic that took over 30 minutes to unravel.
The politics of the environment was moving at fast pace from the United State; overruns and overspends suddenly meant that the dream of extensive travel will for now end with France.
For me, I regained my technical acumen, my confidence and my knack for problem resolution whilst being completely mindful of the people affected by my activities. I made three good friends too. We might just do it again – who knows?

1 comment: