Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Wottr Feetchr

As some of you may have guessed that means "The Water Feature". In English. The water feature is rather large and dominates the entrance to the main building of the Acergy campus. Apparently it cost £40,000 to build however it is a one off and causing the builders to have nightmares in the wee hours. They are having a great deal of trouble getting it to stay level and perform as required. This can also be true of applications created by software programmers such as myself so I can sympathise with the people mucking around with it. I am sure it will keep somebody employed for life.

So in a round about way I finally get to tell you all a little about my work and work environment. The Acergy campus is a set of 3 brand new buildings on approximately 3 acres of land in rural Aberdeenshire. It is in a little town just outside Aberdeen called Westhill, or possibly Elrick. The building site, and indeed the building I work in, is still a construction site. I was to have started work in an old building in Aberdeen but just before arriving I had an email saying go to Tarland Road, Westhill. As it turns out there is no road called Tarland Road but there is a road that goes to Tarland. Hmmm, very handy.

Anyway, Acergy had to get out of the old building in Aberdeen and organised to occupy two floors of the new (unfinished) main building. We have very strict paths to follow and places that are off limits because the campus is still a construction site. All in all though it's very nice and in October when the site is handed over we will also receive 600 people from another Acergy campus in Aberdeen. The main building will have a restaurant/cafeteria; not sure which as they use the english language meanings a bit differently over here. One of the other buildings is a massive company health and fitness centre (but no pool).

The people I work with are an interesting and generally fun bunch but not many Scots. Last night we had a little team social at the Monkey House. Its a bar. Honest. Really lovely evening and nice to be out of the B&B at night. On Saturday week I am meeting up with some more work people at The Queen Vic (public house) to watch Scotland V Macedonia. Promises to be a hoot, and my son Elliot will be so jealous. I have been set to work on a project and am meeting some nice people. The work isn't challenging yet which is a good thing as I can focus on getting to know people and processes. Even though we use Lotus Notes Release 7 everyday I have to do my development work in Release 5 because our applications are used by ships at sea who haven't yet come into port and been upgraded to Release 7. OK thats enough of the technical stuff, I am sending myself to sleep.

Getting to work is always interesting. The local buses have a different notion of time up here. I have had all the variations - turn up on time, turn up late, turn up early, drive right past you, and don't turn up at all. That almost covers it. The only other thing is the route they take. The drivers each seem to have their own notion of where they are going. Thankfully there are some common points for them all and one of these is dropping me off and picking me up on the corner just up the road. And the X15 or X17, which I catch, all say their destination is Elrick not Westhill. Confused? Then join me in Aberdeen, Elrick, or possibly Westhill.