At a loose end

Secret CIO is at a loose end over the summer and appeals to readers for suggestions to fill his time.

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By  Secret CIO Published  July 2, 2007

Frankly, I'm bored. If you'd asked me a week ago what I'd be doing right now, I'd probably have said I'd be in the local drinking establishment, or planning a party, or... something fun. Not sat at home feeling rather sorry for myself.

The menagerie - sorry, family - has gone back home for the summer, so I've been left to endure the long, hot months on my own. Whereas my imagination had me celebrating my masculine freedom, the reality is I do actually like my family's company. At least they're entertaining.

So boredom has crept in with alarming speed - hence my being prostrate on a sofa in front of Bloomberg on a Saturday afternoon.

It's now reached the stage where I'm so bored, I'm longing for Sunday morning and the working week (I could, in theory, work at the weekend - but that would just be sad).

And while I'm not prepared to give up my days off, I do seem to have settled in to working very long days in my one hundred hours of solitude. As my workload hasn't grown any bigger - in fact, with the senior management off as well, it's shrunk - I now have a lot of time to fill. A LOT of time.

So far, I've reorganised the tape safe, cleaned out and archived the server logs and started a comprehensive review of our disaster recovery plan - all IT equivalents of cleaning the bathroom grouting and obsessively polishing every piece of cutlery (except the disaster recovery plan - that's been overdue for a while).

I suspect I'm not alone in pulling out the most obscure and time-consuming tasks I can find to fill the void of the summer months - although in other organisations, perhaps IT departments find something more useful to do.

Indoor football comes to mind. Or perhaps knitting.

Seriously - if I felt there was some major project we could usefully do over the summer, taking advantage of the slower business and absence of moaning execs, I'd be on it like a shot. Something like data cleansing - difficult, time-consuming, but sadly necessary for many big IT projects.

But though I say so myself, we've kept fairly up-to-date with all the dull-but-critical tasks in the IT manager's big list. And as I have almost three sweltering months to fill, I'm having to generate some new ideas.

In my Bloomberg-induced semi coma, I've been thinking up time-consuming tasks to tide me through the next few weeks. So far, I've come up with... well, nothing.

Therefore, I've decided to throw the floor open to you - my loyal audience [stop laughing]. I want your best suggestions as to what I can get my remaining minions working on.

Let me know what you're doing in your IT departments, or what you think I should be looking at. Send any suggestions via those nice people at ACN to the usual e-mail address: acn@itp.com.

And hurry - my boredom levels are becoming critical...!

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