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Blog: Work's All Right

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On Friday I was off to The National Archives at Kew to attend ANOTHER Research Day as part of my Exciting New Job, and also to do ANOTHER Presentation about the same.

Kew is a LONG way away from my house. It's so far away that I had to go THROUGH Baron's Court to get there - Baron's Court was where I used to go to when I workd at Imperial, which was a RUDDY long way away, so Kew was therefore even further!

It was a GORGEOUS day when I got there. The National Archive is a big Brutalist building surrounded by trees, lakes and SWANS and, unusually for Brutalist buildings it had aged really well and looked lovely in the sunshine.

I went into the conference room and found my traditional seat at the back... but then the organiser came over and asked me to sit at the FRONT with the other speakers. I wasn't very keen but did as I was told, though as the morning progressed I wished I hadn't. We were all sat on a table facing everybody else, with the screen and current speaker behind us, so we had to WRENCH round to look at whoever was talking, and not only couldn't SEE what they were talking about, but were also blocking the view for everyone else! It always seems daft when conferences do this, but luckily the woman who spoke first just went and sat in the audience when she'd finished, so we all followed her lead as it went on.

My bit was about the CHALLENGES of recording Arts Research Data when systems are generally set up to cope with STEM data. I was a bit worried before I started because other speakers were doing a lot more IN-DEPTH talks about Research Data Management, but people after me did Case Studies like what I was doing, and I DID get some LARFS. I am trying to gently persuade myself that there is MORE to doing an academic presentation than just getting LARFS, but then I see OTHER people do talks with GAGS in, and I always enjoy them a lot more!

At lunchtime I was all prepped to go for a wander round the grounds and not talk to anybody - this is a policy I developed over YEARS of going to Statistics conferences where, in the nicest possible way, it's all A BIT BORING. I am constantly surprised, however, by how INTERESTING Research Data Management is, and also how ACTUALLY NICE the people are. I had a right old chat to several people about Various Issues, all of whom had things to say AND to ask, and I ended up staying inside and YACKING the whole time, including to one chap who turned out to have OPINIONS about the "One More Day" storyline in "Amazing Spider-Man"! Who'd've thought that people who liked COMICS would also like ARCHIVING things eh?

It was, all-told, GRATE fun, and even being forced to do a WORKSHOP in the afternoon turned out to be quite jolly. It is a constant surprise to me to be enjoying my job so much - other people do it all the time, I'm told, but it's a whole new experience for me. INDEED I had my 3 Month Probation Meeting the other day and, when asked how I was finding it, I said "I'm having a WHALE of a time!"

"We've noticed!" said my boss. I'm pretty sure that's a good thing - someone should write a song about job's being all right, they really should!

posted 26/6/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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You could have taken the orange line from Stratford to Richmond - nice aircon train all the way to Kew then :) Although it does take longer, it's a nice trip. Unless you changed at Mile End and took district all the way of course. Glad to see the new job is proving enjoyable - certainly my time there was most excellent.
posted 26/6/2018 by Warren

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