My first week


Monday, June 26

After getting to bed in the middle of the night i'ts hard to obey the alarm clock. Still, I'm doing it. Now I can unpack before breakfast (I have an appointment there with Ferry at eight-thirty).. I''m not really allowed to have breakfast unless I pay, because it is not in my room rate. But I do it for this once. I didn't have a chance to get some groceries yet.

After that we walk towards WFP. I pay attention, because I walk have to walk this road by myself as of tomorrow. Fortunately it turns out to be very easy; I just have to walk down the street. At the WFP first I have to get a visitor's pass and after that we first arrange my real WFP-pass. With this pass I can just walk in and out without having to worry about going through security each time.At the entrance we bump in to Joachim Gröder. He will be my primary contact here. I think he's German because of his German sounding name, but he turns out to be quite italianized. Still, where-ever he's from he is a very nice person and all others here also are. Now to remember all those names and faces….

And I have to get to know the Compas system, figuring out what it's like now and figuring out what is wanted. It looks like Compas is an Oracle Forms 6.0 application (or Forms 6i, I'm not sure about that yet). In any case, it's meant to track & trace where goods or commodities are sent from and to and when they arrive where and so on. Logistics, precisely my area of expertise J.

In the evening Ferry gives me a tour of Rome. He's been here very often and knows his way around. After getting some groceries at the super market at Trastevere train station we take the tram to Argentina. I don't really remember which streets we took, but I do remember seeing the Pantheon (nice and cool inside!), Trevifountain and Piazza Navona. While we are in the city centre the Italian football-team has to play the eighth final in the World Cup. Once they won we immediately know. People cheer and bus and car drivers blow their vehicle's horn and suddenly the streets are covered with Italian flags. Italy has won allright!!

My first impression of Rome is indeed an old city, full of beautiful buildings and nice streets. However, everything isn't really properly maintained and in general doesn't look very tidy. I regret this because if everything was properly maintained the city would be even more beautiful.


Tuesday, June 27

Finally, a network connection!. Now I can work some things out and put them down to (virtual) paper. And also send an e-mail to my friends and family reporting I had a safe journey.  J. Yesterday I already picked up some scenarios I can detaillize. Think of advantages and disadvantages for each scenario. And think about what has to be done in order to realize each scenario and what research I have to do. This way, I have handle on how to approach this impact analysis. Both Ferry and Joachim gave me loads of documentation yesterday. I can start by reading that and also I can do some sniffing around in Compas.

In the evening I go by train to Parco Leonardo. Looking out of the train window I notice some species of grass growing here. From the train it looks little, but walking past it reveals it's at least three metres tall. I don't know what species it is, it looks a little bit like bamboo.

At the Parco Leonardo is a big mall. It has two stories and lots and lots of shops. All kinds of clothes and shoes, but there's also a super market there. And what a super market it is: it's got exactly fifty tills. They sell everything from car tyres to bread and milk. I'm not used to such a big supermarket so it takes a while for me to find what I want. I also take a look at the other shops that are there. Just not too long, beecause apparently they close at eight and I also am getting hungry. This I really got to pay a second visit sometime!!


Wednesday, June 28.

Now that I have a network connection I should start early. That way I can write down this story for you before starting my work. I'm now starting to get to know my way around. The building is organized in three triangles, called Yellow Tower, Blue Tower and Green Tower geheten. They interconnect at the elevators.I really need some time to get used to these strange corners; I'm used to squares. For now I'm at the sixth floor of the blue tower. Later on I might move to the second floor of the yellow tower. For now I'm with the OTDF deparment. They're Compas' Business Owners. It may be more handy for some of my research to be close to the ADIC department. They're Technical Application Management. 

For the moment I need all my time to put together a plan of action and a little projectplanning. Some things are really on a tight schedule, but since I only have five weeks for a lot of things to do this may just keep the necessary pressure up.


Thursday, June 29

Today I'm finishing my action plan. This is kinds of difficult for me, to write everything down in the correct words and sentences. Luckily, english langauge isn't a problem for me. I created english documents before. Besides, at our company's network we have good dictionaries installed and those are also a big help. Today I got a real network account at WFP's network. So now I have two mailadressen: my own ( and WFP's  ( I think I'll be using my own adress most of the time. Everyone has that one by now, giving everyone a new mailadress to mail to is only going to create confusion. Besides, that WFP address will be gone once my five weeks are up; the Vertis address will stay. Now they have my Vertis-address they can reach me after those five weeks if necessary.

During the day I notice myself going into the right direction without thinking about it. Apperently I'm now starting to really know my way around. How much getting used will it take being back in Holland's square buildings? Will I keep getting lost all of the time adjusting to squares once again?

The work itself is going as it should for the moment. I find it difficult to walk to everyone and take notes of everything. Today however some people tell me I'm doing okay. Since everything is still so difficult for me this comment makes me very happy.

Ferry Spaan of TNT Express is leaving this afternoon for others projects in other countries. Secretly I don't like that very much, he was a big help these last few days and he is very pleasant company (and maybe I also don't like this because he's actually quite handsome. But there are others here who are handsome, so no worrying J).

In the evening i take the train to Trastevere and then hop on to tram 8 to Argentina. Arriving there I attempt to retrace the route we took Monday, but I only partyl succeed. I manage to find the Via Cestari with its shops of priest' robes. Only now they're closed, so taking pictures obviously has to wait. Now, if I go straight on, I have to end up at the Pantheon. I remember this correctly and indeed end up at the Pantheon. Unfortunately there I take a wrong turn, because after some walking I end up at the Piazza Navona. There are always a lot of artists there, just like the Place du Tętre in Paris and also there always are some live statues. I recognize the Charlie Chaplin, he was there Monday. Apparently this square is his usual spot. Since it is getting late, I want to get back to the tram stop. I'll probably need some time to do that. And I'm right about that. Just when I think I'm walking into the right direction, I come across a square called the Campo de'Fiori. I take out my map and finally know where am and where I have to go.


Friday, June 30.

Everything is still progressing okay. Testing environment will be ready next Monday or Tuesday and I also finished one of my test scenarions. I only worry about the loadtest. I emailed my collegues and got some tips, but all look rather time and moneyconsuming. First let's wait and see with what TNT can come up.They are also looking. In any case, every step taken is at least one in the right direction.

In the evening I'm going shopping at the Parco Leonardo. In a big electronics store there I find a little USB cable which fits into my photocamera. Now I can put the photos online I made this week!