Thursday, May 14, 2015

Serendipity strikes again

Wednesday was my final day at work before going on holiday, which I spent in our offices in Tel Aviv. Many times during the day I had to warn people that I would not be at work the following week, which led to the following series of questions: where are you going? (Florence), how long for (just over a week), what will you do (attend an academic conference). Most people were very impressed by this; some even asked whether I was ready for the conference and I could assure them that I had prepared my presentation (one person even read it in full, another saw the conclusion).

Towards the end of the day, I got a call asking me to meet someone. This person turned out to be an architect who works for one of Israel's smaller banks and uses Priority. I explained to him the basis of my research and he was all too happy to help. It turns out that his wife is also a doctoral candidate (in cancer research) so he is aware of the problems that candidates have once they finish the theoretical part of their work and turn to the practical.

He promised to complete the questionnaire and to involve as many of his colleagues as possible. This kindness overwhelmed me. In the evening, after getting everything ready for a trip, I sent him an email with all the various documents and questionnaires, and hopefully by the time that we return, I will have more data for my database and can at least complete the pilot study.

As it happens, that same morning I saw an advert for a Priority Users conference. Normally when I am using a browser, I don't pay any attention to adverts so this one passed me by until I had moved off the page with the advert. Then I realised what I had seen, but returning to the same page didn't display the same advert. It took a little time of mindless surfing to redisplay the advert; it turns out that there will be a day long meeting with presentations on 1 June. This isn't a very good date as far as I am concerned but that's what there is. I registered as a user. 

A bit later on, it registered with me that I had been waiting for this opportunity: I would have at least a hundred Priority system managers under one roof! Obviously there would be no opportunity to give a talk about my research - the timetable has already been set in stone - but this will enable me to set up a table near the registration process, hand out introductory letters and talk to whoever is interested. This will require personal skills which I don't really have but it is a golden opportunity.

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