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My mortgage week

Monday: First day back in the office after the Christmas break. Feeling fully refreshed notwithstanding the fact that I had to stand on the train for the 50-minute journey. A new year and fresh targets to discuss in my first week with the six members of my team, so an early start is the order of the day. In addition to looking after the team, I have my own portfolio of clients to keep happy and I already have two client meetings booked in today. The first is in my office premises in the City but the other requires a tube ride to the West End in the afternoon.

Tuesday: A fire on the 07:08 train from Chatham to London means that I spent three frustrating hours going nowhere this morning. This, combined with the heavy snow, left few trains running with little chance of me getting to work much before 1pm. I decide that I will achieve more working from home. A couple of meetings had to be rearranged but I had my landline diverted to my mobile so all was not lost. A frustrating day, best forgotten.

Wednesday: Not having been in the office yesterday left me with a backlog of paperwork. I also have the day-to-day queries of my team members to deal with which, when broken down, take up to 20% of my day. This was punctuated by a meeting with my immediate boss to discuss last year&#39s performance and initiatives for 2003. No respite from travel problems at the end of the day on the journey home as a further snowfall spins it out to something like 90 minutes.

Thursday: In at 8am to prepare for six one-to-one meetings with my team members to discuss performances for 2002 and the way forward in 2003. Like any team, there are stronger performers than others but overall I have a good cross-section and the team has done well for the company in 2002. The majority of the day is taken up by these meetings although I do have a very fruitful meeting with a proposed business introducer. The day ends a bit early for me at 5:15pm in an attempt to get home at a reasonable hour knowing the painful journey ahead of me. I needn&#39t say any more other than it is, indeed, painful.

Friday: The weekend has arrived quicker than I expected for my first week back which is a good thing. The day starts with a meeting with the MD of the company to talk about broader issues of the City office given the burgeoning size of personnel – four new starters in January. This is followed by a meeting with Friends Provident which was arranged to discuss how to improve the relationship between us which hopefully will lead to more business. A long lunch ensues to say goodbye to a valued team member who is joining a new team within the company. Despite quaffing a fair amount of Chardonnay I am still able to muse on the way home that I am lucky to be in this industry as opposed to solving the problems faced by Connex.

•Julian Ward is an associate at Savills Private Finance. His diary runs from January 6-10.


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