IBL Journal @ Coles Myer: Week 4

This is a digitization effort to preserve a 15-week physical record of my Industry Based Learning (IBL) journal. The original content was part of one of my first website efforts – hosted on the now defunct DezzaNet ISPs personal home page platform. View the journal index on my main Coles Myer (IBL) page.

Monday 30 July, 2001

Today, I had one meeting – the first meeting of several. The purpose of this meeting is to review the past week’s work (in this first case – the last 3 weeks) and to plan for the week ahead. It is one of those semi-formal meetings – booked into a meeting room downstairs, it is just for my supervisor and myself. Preparation of minutes/ action items for the meeting is used to help us remember what needs to be done.


Tuesday 31 July, 2001

Today was spent working on the Coles Call Traffic Analysis project. To help me appreciate the nature of the past work done, I spent the morning browsing the network drive where all the files of work are stored. I also spent the time relocating all the scattered files, prepared by three different people in three different locations, into one main project folder – very useful for future browsing and searching. The work on the Coles project was then “shelved” temporarily as trial runs of the Voice Recognition presentation were conducted during lunch – and the resultant work occupied the rest of the afternoon.


Wednesday 1 August, 2001

With less than 48 hours before the actual presentation, I continued making all those final touches to the presentation materials. Addressing the research handouts we had prepared, the morning was soon gone. Another trial run of the presentation was conducted during lunch – this time it ran very smoothly, and I provided some ideas on issues not covered. The afternoon was spent working on the draft of the Coles project summary report.


Thursday 2 August, 2001

The big day has arrived! Arriving just before 7:40am (the earliest on record), I set about printing the presentation notes handout in colour – 3 complete copies (20+ pages each). Using the stationary resources which had arrived yesterday afternoon, I also used the “in between” time to complete the cataloguing of all the team’s CDs and magazines – this task is now complete! While the rest of the team went to lunch, my supervisor and I left for Tooronga, where I had lunch. The Tooronga Bistro is so much better – the size of a large restaurant, more variety of food and cheaper than that at Hoddle St!

Taking the lift up to Level 5 (top level), we entered the Corporate section – the area is so grand – the “royal” free carpet, portraits of past MDs and Chairmans… I was privileged to meet and shake hands with not only the COO of CML – Warren Flick, but his right-hand man (past MD of Kmart) Geoff Sadler. The presentation, according to my supervisor and her boss, was successful – it ran for almost 2 hours, when previously scheduled for 1 hour! We now have a sponsor for project – Geoff Sadler – but he held off on green lighting the project to proceed. Further research was requested with a follow-up presentation to ensure project objectives and benefits.

2017 reflection: This was arguably my very first experience of the top echlons of corporate work. Meeting the second most powerful man in the company during the dying days of Coles Myer’s era under Dennis Eck was something that went over my head. As we know now, just weeks later, Dennis Eck would be dismissed and John Fletcher was introduced to lead the retailer. Warren Flick’s leadership and attempted strategies would go on to pave the way for the eventual demerge and exit of the Myer department store, and ultimately the acquisition by Wesfarmers.

Friday 3 August, 2001

Originally – I had intended to take time off work today – I first thought the whole day (since I had no meetings). Then I decided I might take half a day off (some 4 hours). So I arrived at work at the usual 8:00am… I spent the morning printing out all my emails related to the various projects. I eventually left work at 3:00pm – working for a total of 7 hours – 3 more than intended… So my total overtime work now stands at 19.5 hours approximately… in other words – just over 2 days!

2017 reflection: My 2001 self found the whole concept of time-off-in-lieu a great way to ensure work-life balance. However, it is important to note that my motivation was not about working copious hours in order to take time off. My journal will help explain how this all plays out…