Adaptability to Diverse Tasks

One of the things VSO drum into you pre-departure is the need to be adaptable and probably deal with a very diverse range of tasks. True that.

I’ve been back from the Christmas Fiasco for a day and a half (well when you consider the first half day was enquiring about people’s holidays, regaling them with my story of woe and greeting people with increasingly elaborate handshakes I’ve been back “working” for only a day).

In that time amongst other things I have:

– Had an hour-long discussion with the Chief Health Program Administrator for Special Programmes about analysing data on ARV patient adherence and outcome rates touching on statistical meaningfulness, relative comparison, data reduction/elimination of extremes, trend prediction, types of average and deviation/variance. Of course I was just sitting beside her trying not to dribble too much and nod at the right moments but at least I was part of the discussion!

– Spent 90 minutes or so crawling around under desks after when relocating the Private Secretary’s desk someone had knocked the fax line socket which was held together only by the grace of god and some twisted cables. In the end with nothing more than a pair of scissors, a nail clipper and my falling apart backup multimeter (all good tools stranded in car) we bodged it using an old modem cable, an unused extension box, masking tape, twist-tied connections (well if they’re good enough for Telecom!) and the grace of god.

In fact while crawling around I was even able to instruct a little bit about how the telephone wiring works even showing the voltage change when ringing (and of course that the standard voltage even when not “open” is around 50V DC so worth being careful around). If we’d had an oscilloscope it would have been actual proper science like.


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