7:00: Moaning, I fumble for the snooze button on the alarm in search of five golden minutes more of blissful sleep! I am not the type that wakes
easily. All is fine, though, once one foot hits the floor and I can start the day running.
Getting my foot to the floor however has been known to take at least half a day!
Once up, I can be ready to leave home in 20 minutes. I live close to work
and commute a mere 30 minutes door to door, which for London is very good
indeed. For the past 3 years, home has been Canary Wharf and I love it.
Coming from the coast, I find it hard to live without water. On top of
that, I'm a country boy and so the peace and quite of The Wharf
(especially at week-ends) makes me very content. My apartment looks on to
the river and the five-minute walk to Canary Wharf station is always a nice calming
start to the day.
8-8:30: I arrive feeling calm. However, there is
only one pace for me, and that means everything should be done yesterday. At times, this may well annoy my colleagues.
As a result I have yet to learn the joy of reading, as I find sitting in
one place for hours on end to be a waste of time. When I am old and
incapable of running around, climbing mountains etc., perhaps I
will understand why people do read.
Coffee is a must and also an addiction, even though I have cut down
dramatically to less than two a day. My doctor has told me that my stomach
is more like that of a 60-year-old and that I must cut it out completely.
I am sure he likes daydreaming!
9am: Having checked the mail in all its modern formats I am usually out
the door to visit some client or other. In essence, the real joy about
working for FactSet is that I do not have a typical day. My job is to be
out and about and not at my desk. If I am at my desk for more than one day
per week, I do not regard it as a good week.
9.30-10am: If the client is not Wharf-based, I find myself sitting in some
reception or other by now. At FactSet we are all about relationships. We
do not hold contracts with our clients so all clients get treated as brand
new.........even if they have been a client for 20 years.
All business, regardless of industry, is relational. In the end, we all
have personal lives outside work. Naturally my clients do not want to hear
me moaning, but there is plenty more to having meetings other than the
"client" sitting across the table and the other talking nothing but business.
On both sides I think fresh air is always appreciated and I hope that is
why I get on so well with my clients. (Perhaps we should ask for their
opinion!) The above, coupled with honesty as regards our product, builds a
strong relationship based on trust, confidence and most importantly mutual
12 noon: Has to be lunch and if I do not eat, I get cranky. I have been in
difficult meetings before that have gone on all morning only for me to
tell the client that I need food. My brain literally packs up.
It is scary, but as each year passes, I see myself becoming more and more
like one of my parents in some regard. You would never ask my father a
question until after he had eaten and I am now just the same. My boss
often laughs about how, when we go to lunch together, I sprint there and
gently stroll back afterwards. I have become Papa O'Mahony!
1pm: Back at my desk. The afternoon is a mix of letter writing, returning
voice mails left from the morning, discussing an account with another
FactSetter in some office around the world or once more visiting clients.
Usually, just after lunch is a good time to grab a meeting with one or two
of the consultants working on an account. Targets are discussed and we set
priorities. If the meeting is a one-to-one, the very first thing I ask is
how they are getting on with me.
This I hope sets our relationship. I need to be able to trust them completely so that we can set tasks together in an honest and frank conversation.
Sometimes I think I should have been called Frank, as at times it would be
most apt. I try to have these meetings regularly and keep them short. We
all know what we have to do. It's a question of knuckling down and getting
the job done.
3pm: Usually my last client visit of the day. I love client meetings
because people are just fascinating.............regardless of their moods.
Everybody in my eyes has a great story in them. Meetings can be on a sales
front, explaining our benefits to the board, decision makers etc.
When selling software, you have to be completely honest. If I promise
something that we cannot deliver, it is only going to come back and haunt
me. Clients will always find out the truth sooner rather than later.
At times clients are bemused by such openness. I'll always tell them that if
we can do it, we'll do it but if we cannot deliver what they require,
I'll be the first to leave the table and not waste their time any further.
Other meetings are technical: how to get FactSet installed, meeting
network people, software packaging or sitting down with a particular
sector team and setting out their goals for the next six months.
6pm:If I am not needed back in the office for a meeting, I go home and
check my messages from there. Having a router means I can work from home
just as fast as from the office.
The evenings are always varied. In recent months I think my metabolism
has slowed down, resulting in sudden "belly overhang" syndrome. This has
caused the drastic step of joining a gym. I hate it! All those fit people
doing all those silly exercises.
If I'm travelling I make sure to get a hotel without a gym. At times a
little bit of self-delusion is good for you.
11pm: Thankfully, I sleep very well. I usually try and get to bed by 11pm
at the latest. And just as I awake by putting one foot on the floor, I
fall asleep just as quickly as my foot leaves it. Sound asleep before the
head hits the pillow. Bliss again!