Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Relaxed run, UB40 and a good view of work

Now that Mrs Ramblings has agreed to be my coach, she has got be back on track as far as training is concerned.   This is of considerable help as I have found myself behind my marathon training schedule and this Saturday will be a test for me to see how I fare in a 3+ hour run.

So this evening's run was a "relaxed one hour" run and I made sure it was exactly that.  You'll see from the image that the inspirational lysoft reggae track from UB40 was the music of choice this evening.  It was an easy run covering 6.5 miles in the hour.

I found myself thinking of all kinds of things work-wise.  Right now I'm not too pressured and a few interesting things going on.  Perhaps I can tell you about the Rambling Guide to Contract Management?

Here goes.  The number one priority for me, in respect of a publicly funded "service" type of contract is to get the relationship right with the contractor.  Work it as a partnership agreement.  Sometimes colleagues have demanded I show them a contract upon feeling aggrieved because something isn't right but I always refuse as I don't want someone interfering and yet I might just take up their cause without them even knowing, providing I think they may have a valid point.  Getting the relationship right is a great way of dealing with problems at the lowest level and drawing the best out of the contractor.  Also it's good to learn together and even better when two or more contractors start working with each other - that's then when the sum of the parts is greater.... and I was amused when I noticed NOMS have a project with that name now.  If I need ever to refer to a contract to point out something, that's almost the point of my failure but I will always know what the contract says.

Another reflection is about all the fantastic work volunteers do within the Criminal Justice System.   Most volunteers work tirelessly away from the public eye, although Magistrates are an exception.  How things change and sometimes for the better!  We now see examples of ex-offenders working as peer mentors very successfully and other volunteers working with high risk sex-offenders through the Circles of Support and Accountability projects dotted around the country.  This is all excellent stuff and a real joy to see.  What sticks in my mind was meeting an offender in a focus group and when I asked what he thought of his volunteer mentor he said "...he makes me feel I have a right to be alive in spite of what I've done".  That is so powerful and such a reminder of how ordinary people can make such a difference in the lives of some very needy, damaged people as they make amends for their crimes.

So there you go, a nice quiet, easy and reflective run, consolidating my unofficial approach within the system.  No dramatic Runner's High, just that feeling of being at peace with a job that sometimes drives me up the wall.

My coach will, no doubt, be instructing me on tomorrow's evening run but I bet it won't be quite as easy!

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