There’s no point rambling on about my trip back to JHB, or the fact that even the dodgiest little, shared office in my company’s Melrose Arch offices was still incredibly beautiful! Or about the coffee that was delivered to my desk every morning, lunch and afternoon, exactly the way I liked it…Or about going shopping (in Melrose Arch) sot that I could arrive each day looking fabulous. The point is, I have found myself back in Steelpoort! Through no foreseen circumstances, they pulled be back within a week of being in JHB…But not for long. I shall soon return to Egoli: the City of Gold! I just have to be a bit of a grease-monkey till then!
One thing that I will mention about JHB was that I was asked by my boss, the General Work’s Manager of Projects, to attend a meeting at the engineering consultancy who have been contracted to draft and design for the project: lets call them M&G. It is very exciting, as they have sub-contracted some of the designing out to the consultancy WSP Group. (Remember EWB having met with WSP a few months ago concerning them helping us get EWB SA off the ground? No? Well they contacted us and offered us a sort of informal partnership…)
So I had to battle my way through JHB CBD to find the offices, and my pre-specified parking bay. Arriving in an absolute state of mild panic, late, I realised that I had forgotten the WBS drawings that my boss had reminded me to bring in! wow. Luckily, it wasn’t too much of a train smash! I had the chance to meet my direct supervisor in JHB, and the Technical Manager of the company. (Yes, the TM of the entire company is my direct supervisor while I am in JHB!) This is a person who I had heard so much about, someone who is very well respected and honoured as being ‘technically brilliant’ and ‘gifted’ by colleagues! Imagine my surprise when a tiny, skinny, pretty little Indian woman walked into the room!
Mrs O.N. was nothing like what I had expected, but she really held her own in the meeting (where tensions ran high over discrepancies between the original quote from M&G of R17mil and the final quote of R47mil. Yes, as an engineer (even a very junior one) I could see how the changes that my company had asked for and the policies that we had enforced on M&G would shoot the cost up. You would expect it from my boss, Mr MH, the great big Afrikaans GWM. But it was Mrs ON, keeping the interests of the company and the project at the forefront of her agenda, who took the consultants head-on! I was really impressed and inspired!
What I liked the most about her though, was that despite the big personality that came so neatly packaged, she was still very much a woman. She spoke very well, dressed well and was just the tiniest bit clumsy (stumbling when she got up to get a cup of coffee). And most importantly, she was nice. She was lovely! So uncharacteristic of a woman who had made it to the top of a male-dominated industry! It was a real treat to meet her and an absolute privilege to have her as my mentor!
So a week later, I’m back in Steelpoort, and thats ok. I want to learn as much as a can first, to be able to have a better understanding of what we are building when I get back to JHB…So until then…