Floods Battle Bus 2007
Back in 2007 we had major floods across the country in places like Hull etc. I worked for a very large insurance company on the IT relationship/project side.
The idea of having a mobile claims centre that could visit sites was often talked about and several groups had been given the task to sort it out but had just given up after 6 months of wanking around.
I walk into the office one morning and the Directors are all on a telelconf. I asked what was going on and they said that they were thinking of getting a 'Battle Bus' ready to handle the flood locations. "Ha they are dreaming! No poor sod will ever get that sorted!" said me. I think you can guess what happened next.
My director pops out of the meeting and tells me I have to sort it out ready to go for next Monday morning (it was Tuesday). All that had been sorted was they "had a bus".
Well I made up a list of all the stuff I though they would need (laptops/printers/scanners/3G cards/Phones/backup kit etc. etc.) then called round all the IT teams, calling in favours and begging for gear that was needed NOW (not 3-4 weeks delivery time).
I then organised additional support from our telephony and data suppliers, managed for a local branch office to be open over the weekend for staff to get acquainted. To have a local IT support guy on hand with the bus too to make sure it all worked.
So from a cold start at 10am Tuesday I had everything ready, checked off and agreed by 3pm Thursday afternoon. I even scrounged promotional toys and sweets for the kids. I think I had a phone stuck to my ear for two whole days.
I then called the local manager that was to supply the staff. I told him the bus was all ready and equipped and good to go for 9am Monday morning.
There was a long pause. "Oh...I didn't expect that IT would actually deliver anything!"
Yeah I couldn't blame him, our usual IT was pretty bad but I wasn't the regular IT having come from the claims/accounts/dogsbody side of the business before moving over to IT. So he had no staff lined up to man it. Well he got that organised, the bus went out on the Monday to Oxford or Hull and it was a huge success. It was out for several weeks helping folks with their problems. It got masses of good publicity and was praised for being the only insurance company to bother.
So yeah I felt pretty good about it. It was 90% pretty much all my own work and gumption.
You can imagine with such a great boost to the company I would have been in line for a promotion or a big performance bonus.
Nope. No bonus. No promotion. A few of the Directors did very well out of it I heard.
I got a £30 Thank You voucher. The rub was under the scheme the max was £250 but I wasn't worth that I guess. To this day I wish I had told them to stuff it up their arse. I left the company later that year. Oh well!