A little bit about my new job…

Three ducks beside the Kinness Burn in St Andrews
Ducks by the Kinnessburn in St Andrews, which I pass each day on my walk to work.

Journey to work

I can hardly believe that it has now been three weeks since I started work at the University of St Andrews. I’ve deliberately not posted much about work on my blog as I’ve been settling in and getting my head around the job, … until now.

Each morning I leave the house here in Cellardyke sometime between 08:20 and 08:35 (depending on the usual variables: the time I got up, how long I spent in the shower, the number of places I have to look for my ID badge, etc.) and walk past the beautiful Cellardyke harbour (sans swan) to my car. It’s a view that I don’t think I’ll ever tire of, looking out towards the Isle of May in the Forth. My drive to St Andrews takes about 20 minutes, and so far has been accompanied by a soundtrack from Metallica, Iron Maiden, Anthrax and Megadeth. It’s a very metal road, it would appear.

I park on Kinnessburn Road, a creatively named road that runs parallel to the Kinness Burn, and then walk from there to North Street, to Butts Wynd, where Business Improvements (BI) is located. In fact, BI is located in the creatively named building called the “Butts Wynd Building”. Bright people who named these streets and buildings. And I certainly approve of that level of usability.

What I do

My job title is Assistant Information Architect/Web Manager, and at present comprises of two main tasks: helping to oversee the redesign of the University website, and assisting the Schools and Units with their websites.

So far I’ve written a report on the Press Office website, and made some updates on the Estates’ Environment and Sustainability Development website. Today was the first time in about six years that I’ve had to deal with nested <font> tags!

Despite having been in post for only three weeks, I must have attended nearly 25 meetings so far. I certainly hit the ground running, with hardly a minute to catch my breath and trying to think strategically about what I might need to prepare for the long-term in this post. That will come, no doubt. And now that the University Web Manager and I have moved into our own office that will certainly help.

My new office

The furniture arrived for the former seminar room on Wednesday, and I finished moving things in this afternoon, with some kind help from a couple of new friends in the Business Improvements office. On of the challenges in getting the room set up is that there is a PC Classroom at the end of the corridor, where there are examinations being held all week. For some reason (I’m sure there must be a good reason) the invigilator doesn’t close the door to the classroom, which means that every time I open the door at the end of the corridor he pops out of the exam room like some kind of meercat! This morning I took some WD40 in and oiled the hinges!

Anyway, here’s my new work environment:

Photograph of my new office.  A desk in the corner of the room, beneath a window.  A table in the foreground, and a bookcase to the left of the desk.

And here’s Steve’s desk — although he hasn’t seen it yet, and I know that he reads my blog, so I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

A pixelated photograph of Steve's desk.

Did I tell you how much I’m loving my job?

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

3 thoughts on “A little bit about my new job…”

  1. I have many childhood memories of going to feed the ducks at Kinnessburn. In fact I was in St. Andrews before Christmas and decided to pay them a visit. I’m sure they used to be bigger…

    Glad you are enjoying your new job, but University?

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