Today, in an eerie moment of clarity, I feel like I'm officially a career woman. It's kinda weird.
8:45 AM -- Arrive at work to be confronted with a last-minute event-organization emergency. Negotiate between parties, reconcile their schedueles, timelines, and technological requirements with very, very limited room availabilities. Solve by 10:45, whereby I notify my division of said event.
10:50 AM -- Join team at weekly morning teatime. Discuss our weekends, life in general with teammembers. Eat cookies. Mmmm...
11:15 AM -- Boss walks by the team, informs us of the Minister of Statistics visiting this afternoon. Warns us, when asked to shake hands, not to scream and run away.
11:20 AM -- Tea wraps up. On the way back to my desk, aforementioned boss runs an idea by me: that I be specifically introduced to the Minister. The general theme for introducing me seemed to be something to the effect of "raising StatsNZ's international visibility by reinforcing inter-organizational relations within the international statistical community". Nevermind that within mere line of sight, there are representatives from Germany, South Africa, China, Samoa, USA... it speaks highly of the esteem StatsNZ has for StatCan. Nice, huh? I tell him I'd be delighted.
11:30 AM -- Return to my desk, resume work. Begin testing data received from our systems-development branch, who had already caused a two MONTH delay in the entire survey processing. Upon brief inspection, I see immediately that crucial instructions were not followed.
11:45 AM -- Write terse email to systems developer informing him of this discrepancy, and encouraging him to reread the system specifications. CC to project managers, so that they can anticipate further delay, and know what the reason for it is.
12:10 PM -- Annoyed, I get a tasty coffee from the cafe downstairs. Upon arrival, I notice that there is a line, and remember that this is when normal people get their lunch. Change coffee order to coffee and muffin. Both are yummy. And the clerk was very nice. I feel better now.
12:25 PM -- Resume work at my desk, this time on my work for a different survey. Do research on editing and imputation methodologies for Census 2006. Make detailed notes, as this information concerns several of the projects I am working on.
2:00 PM -- Discuss the upcoming visit from Pacific Island statisticians: What information/guidance do they need in order to maximize their enjoyment of Wellington? What training will they be requiring, and at what level, and how to customize it to suit their informational/cultural needs? Brainstorm with other project helpers, distribute tasks between us.
2:45 PM -- Resume Census research at my desk.
3:45 PM -- Hear a commotion in the usually-silent StatsMethods section. Assume it's the Minister's visit. Discreetly check a handy reflective surface for muffin-bits between my teeth.
3:50 PM -- I hear the boss's preamble ("...and, representing our Foreign Contingent...") so I turn around with a smile. Then it's the usual schmooze: Stand up, handshake, introduction and brief chitchat, and usually a joke thrown in there somewhere. It went well, as he was extraordinarily pleasant.
Minister: "Canada, eh? Do you miss the snow, then?"
Me: "Not at all. Central Heating, on the other hand..." ^_^
Everyone: (ho ho ho)
Minister: "Aaah, yes, snow or not, Wellington can still get cold. My assistant's husband is from Whistler, and always talks about how he misses the snow. Where are you from?"
Me: "Originally, Winnipeg, but I moved from the StatCanada office in Ottawa."
Vince (boss): "...and to complicate matters, she's planning her wedding in a third city, Vancouver, from here!"
Minister: (surprised) "Wow! What's the statistical probability of all those cities being linked that way?"
Me: "I don't know, but the probability of getting grey hair while arranging such a thing is equal to one!"
Everyone: (ho ho ho)
3:55 PM -- Minister and his party continue their rounds, whilst I get back to work. Reflect on how I am glad I got a manicure the day before!
4:20 PM -- Work interrupted by persistent, unsettling feeling of being a manicured, high-heeled career woman. When did that happen? Scary...
4:30 PM -- Leave work a little early, humming Talking Heads, "Letting the Days Go By..." Thank you David Byrne.
(This post goes out to anyone who ever wondered what I actually DO for a living...!) ^_^