Having started my new job just a scant week previous, last week our team trooped down to Melbourne. The purpose of the journey was to learn what we had really signed up for, taking over the code from CSIRO, both that which we are superseding, and that which form the firmament upon which we will build.
The work aspect of the week was good. We had 3 and a half very intense days talking with the previous developers, learning the nooks and crannies of the code. We also had a half day with the current and potential industrial partners, about the directions in which we might go, both technically and in a business sense.
The non-work aspect of the week was also really successful in the end. We were put up in nice digs, at the Oaks on Lonsdale; I was in an apartment probably as big as the one in which I live. What made the trip worthwhile, though, was that I didn't spend much time there.
On Tuesday night I popped around to Kris' place in Brunswick, for dinner with him and his girlfriend Lizzie. We had a great evening, very easy conversation. I get on well with Kris.
Before leaving, I had gone online and a bought a ticket for the Wednesday night session of the tennis. When I arrived outside Rod Laver arena, though, I looked at my ticket and was horrified to see that it was for the day session. I lay on the grass for 15 minutes or so, just cursing my carelessness and wondering what I would tell those to whom I'd boasted that I was going to see Federer play.
I wandered over the ticket office, by this stage a gathering point for people hoping (mostly in vain) to score tickets to the sold out session, to confirm that I had stuffed up, and if so whether there might be any tickets left I might buy. The lady was very nice, took some ID and presumably went away to check that my day session ticket had not, in fact, been used. At her urging, I hung around for about 10 minutes while she apparently worked on my behalf to find a ticket. When she did, she asked me not to appear to triumpant, or everyone would want one, but I thanked her heartily and wandered inside. In the end, I ended up with a really good seat - far better than the one I had bought - and had a great time watching a fairly good match of singles (Federer-Blake) and most of a match of doubles (Bryan/Bryan vs Bhupathi/Knowles). That I was so lucky to be there made it much more special.
To that ticket lady, whoever you are, you made my week, and I can't thank you enough :)