The thing with big software applications is that they are so well developed that they are often hard to fault.
Thousands of pounds and man-hours go into producing a top class product worthy of the fortune you have to spend on it.
Or rather thousands of dollars, because let's face it. The yanks have got it all tied up.
So when I came across a need for an elementary layout in a powerful popular application I was surprised by its omission.
Microsoft Word '97 doesn't have a standard template for minutes.
How did this occur? Surely when they were beta testing the product they would have held meetings.
And minuted them.
Have I discovered a secret here? Do they use Lotus Ami-Pro in Seattle? We should be told.
By the way, I have created a template myself. If you need a copy, send me a request.
And if Bill Gates is reading this. Get in touch. You'll find my hourly rate very reasonable. Compared to yours.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.030 4 Dec 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The links were added in Version 5.030 4 Dec 2017, along with the image which depicts a Windows XP desktop with multiple windows open
Vince Poynter Work
A Brief History of My Employment
1978 to 2005
The busy office desk of a Heating Engineer in the late seventies
I received a formal office based apprenticeship with a medium sized heating company where I learnt all required skills from estimation to commissioning and final accounting of industrial and commercial mechanical services projects.
As a Mechanical Services Engineer my duties included specification interpretation, basic design, draughting, sub-contract negotiation, site meeting attendance, quantity surveying including budget control, commissioning and documentation preparation.
I single-handedly supervised contracts varying between ten thousand to three-and-a-half million pounds in value.
Within this period I sought further experience and set out to find additional challenge. I worked outside the industry in sales and marketing for a while but no clear opportunities developed so I took an offer to rejoin the construction industry again, then moving to a leading player in the market.
Shortly after this the Managing Director of a heating and plumbing company, who wanted to start a mechanical services division, approached me. My experience within the commercial building services market was called upon to create a department from inception.
I was given a free hand and within the three years of running the department as a General Manager I autonomously ran more than forty contracts won from valuing over two-hundred tenders, turning over half a million pounds and making a small profit after start up costs.
With the company I honed new skills including labour recruitment, supervision, training and termination, department budgeting, finding and developing client relationships and accountancy.
I initiated quarterly and yearly departmental financial and progress reports and was instrumental in helping the company grow from a small poorly administered outfit to a vibrant professional concern by encouraging staff meetings, standardising and tidying presentation techniques and developing CDM and Investors in People formats.
Despite my development of new contacts such as the local University and the national Gas Company it became clear that my hopes and expectations from the department exceeded the financial risk that one of the directors was prepared to take.
I chose to join a better-funded organisation to improve my personal reward and commenced work with another southern based, mechanical services company overseeing several contemporaneous projects as a Contracts Manager. This included sole commercial and engineering responsibility for projects.
The job had similarities but the technology had developed
In 1999 I decided to develop the professional side of my skills and seek new contacts in a more commercial environment within a more stimulating and progressive field.
I choose to work through a London based company and became self employed to maximise my potential. This enabled me to respond better to a modernising market.
Most of my work [in 2005] was carried out for a respected London based group of companies, as a Senior Contracts Consultant. They had provided continual work for me since March 1999.
My duties had been varied and I encouraged my client to offer me a wide range of assignments. The projects were within the contractual and commercial sector often with high profile clients, usually within a team.
I had been engaged in prestigious multi-million pound contracts, dealing with issues such as valuing multi-million pound variation accounts, researching contractual documentation, asset surveying, setting company bonus schemes and working with legal departments on claims and adjudication cases.
I continued to seek interesting opportunities to enhance my client base and personal development.
As an illustration of this, at the beginning of 2003 I was appointed as a specialist planner, working with Primavera P3, for an eminent E and M company within the rail industry.
I now had over a year’s specific experience working with specialist planning software both on new programming and time slice analysis as part of sub-contract claims.
Further, my latest assignment in 2005 was working as a Quantity Surveyor involved in track replacement on the London underground network for a major construction group.
A Summary of My Skills and Experience
20 years project planning, engineering and commercial management within the Mechanical and Electrical industry, including working as an independent Project Manager
Commercial skills include contractual correspondence, variations and claims - Disruption and Loss and Expense (Quantity Surveying), with knowledge of adjudication
Procurement, planning, resourcing and supervision (including using proprietary software – Primavera P3, Powerproject/TeamPlan and MS Project)
Design, calculations, co-ordination and drawing (manual and CAD)
Client liaison, arranging meetings
Public speaking and event organisation
Sub-contractor selection, negotiation and supervision
Ability to decipher and interpret legal and contractual documentation
Technical documentation writing (Operating and Maintenance, CDM, Health and Safety)
High competency of spreadsheet calculations, desktop publication, databases and word processors
Estimation and financial skills within the tendering environment
Recruitment, employment, setting and administering bonus schemes plus training
Computer literacy including internet understanding, webpage creation using source codes (this whole site is hand coded in HTML), basic networking and problem solving
Specialist Building Services, construction and rail industry experience
Management skills including budget control, staff relations and report writing
Selective Work Assignments
A selection of the major roles that I carried out and the projects that I worked on.
1982/1984 - Various temporary works, then Warehousing and Sales
1984/1993 - Mechanical Services Engineer
1993 – Part time Consultancy Engineering
1993/1994 - Project Engineer
1994/1997 - General Manager [Mechanical Services Department]
1997/1999 - [Mechanical and Electrical] Contracts Manager
Self Employed Contracting
List of the major contracts I worked on as a self-employed Contracts Consultant.
1999 - London Underground Jubilee Line Extension Claim Calculations
2000/1 - Asset Registration in Retail and Banking
2001 - Administration of Bonus Scheme on two major Tower Construction Contracts in Canary Wharf
2002 - Setting Up Bonus Scheme for a main Mechanical Services Company
2002 - Adjudication Research for a Sub-Contractor Claim within a large London Property Development Site
2003 - Planner as part of the London Kings Cross Underground Re-development
2003 - Extension of Time Analysis following Building Services Construction at St George's Hospital
2004/5 - Quantity Surveyor for Metronet Rail Infrastructure
2005 - Claim Preparation following Building Services Construction at St. Charles Hospital, Kensington
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.082 15 Mar 2018
First Published: vincepoynter.co.uk Version 1.00 in Mar 2005
Selective Work Assignments added: vincepoynter.co.uk Version 1.01 in Apr 2005
Selective Work Assignments added: Version 5.082 15 Mar 2018
The first image is of the author's working desk taken around 1979 and was added in Version 5.080 on 9 Mar 2010
The other image is of the author working during the early noughties and was added in Version 5.080 on 9 Mar 2010
Extract from an early 'blog' from the vinceunlimited website.
Have to attend a work related interview today and it has made me think again about my career.
I work in the construction industry, not through choice but fate. I despise everything about it but year on year the fiscal reward has been growing.
I dislike the way that it limits creativity, is a male dominated, brutish, dirty environment and now only concerns itself with money.
Service and pride have become lost concepts and the industry is full of parasitic consultants. I should know, I work as one!
I work mainly through one agency and they pitch my skills to suit the job - I have become a specialist in nothing more than fitting into any role they ask.
Whilst this provides interesting variations in an otherwise tedious job it does prevent me from climbing up away from my present level into further management. A role I would be much more suited for, mainly because that is where all the hyperbole I have learnt on the way would be of most use.
[Check out the blog section if you are interested in the rest of this blog post - Note: non business related]
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.104 23 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 8 Sep 2005