September 04

Outage Outrage!

No train driver, no wifi, no loo paper, no drinking cups… today didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts.   After an impromptu and very relaxing long weekend away (the last of the summer campervan trips probably), I was up with the dawn and raring to go; ready to catch up with what I’d missed and get back down to some serious work.

It was not to be ….. the train ride into the office came to a grinding halt outside Finsbury Park at 7:55 due to no driver for the next leg of the journey … Grrrr … I’d had plans to be in early to catch up after a day off.  Resigned to the delay, my frustration soon calmed.  I smiled at my fellow passengers, pleased I’d bought a coffee at the station and used the stationary 45 minutes to catch up on a few emails, share my weekend antics on social media and message the important people in my life.  Eventually we got going …. all will be back on track shortly.

Or so I thought … major IT issues faced me when I got in the office.  Complete and sudden server death meant no wifi for the whole Orange Street office!  Crikey – can’t download my mails, can’t find my latest documents, can’t read my calendar.    Another coffee, a spare cable and an incredibly helpful chat with IT and I was back online soon after lunch.  A quick shout out for some fabulous comms … one friendly and smiling face from the IT department came around every single desk several times giving us real-time updates and telling us to be patient – this very human touch made all the difference (and so much better than an ‘outage email’).  We embraced it, grateful for the human touch which silenced the futile frustration, and got down to some real work without the continuous interruption from email, skye and workplace alerts! And time for a break

Three trips to the ladies (the train, St Pancras, the office) … and no loo paper … no need to divulge, other than to say us girls are prepared for almost all eventualities with the stuff in our handbags.  And finally, I can tell holiday season is pretty much over, the store of coffee cups and water glasses in the office kitchen were completely out by lunchtime, nothing that couldn’t be rectified with a quick stroll to Pret – any further outage outrage diverted.

So more than enough outages for one morning … and all the potential cause of outrage … but not today; the lack of wifi meant I made time to attend an interesting lunch’n’learn from a Save the Children Country Director visiting from Palestine; which put all of my minor frustrations into perspective.

She spoke passionately about their work to protect children caught up in conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory and the Gaza Strip – for example campaigning to keep schools safe and supporting the recovery for young victims of the conflict.  She shared graphic stories of children being arrested, detained and abused by soldiers; horrific injuries to children caused by sniper attacks, which given their nature and extent are surely deliberate.  She spoke about the sense of outrage she feels on a daily basis, and how this motivates her to want to do more.  She implored that we must all help amplify and share the stories from children – we need governments and communities to listen and act – to stop violating the rights of children.

Now I am properly outraged – children must not be targets of war!

Save the Children is one of the largest non-governmental organisations working in Gaza, and have been working in the region for over 30 years, helping to deliver life-saving medical supplies, food and clean water, hygiene kits and household essentials, as well as advocating for children’s rights and working to protect children from violence and abuse.

Look out for my upcoming series of blogs, where I will write a little more about the situation facing children in Yemen, Palestine and Myanmar – 3 countries being torn apart by conflict and where hundreds of thousands of children are in desperate situations; being maimed, killed and having their childhood stolen from them.

#endthewaronchildren #childrennotatarget #savethechildren #doingnothingisnotanoption #changecommunities #PULSE10 #ivolunteer

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author, and not those of Save the Children or GSK.