“Those we love never truly leave us.  There are things that death cannot touch” (Jack Thorne)

It took a week for the moving company to deliver our furniture.  I dropped the kids and Lynda at the house to wait for the truck before I went to work.  The telephone line was supposed to be installed on the same day.  I asked Lynda to give me a call as soon as we get the phone.  Lynda called me around 1:00PM to let me know that they were starving.  Luckily I didn’t have anything important scheduled for the afternoon so I told the girl at the front desk I am off for the rest of the day.

The movers were taking off as soon as I got home.  Lynda still had some arranging and rearranging of the furniture to do but I said let’s go have lunch first.  We had nice lunch before we went to do the grocery shopping.  It took almost all afternoon before we got home.  Once we got home I suggested not try to cook something for supper today as I am planning to take them out for a nice supper in the beautiful downtown of Fredericton. 

The following day, I started getting into the details of the current Consumer Sales Tax (CST) and scheduled meetings to meet with the folks who have been involved in the process all this time.  At the same time I was gathering information on the tools and techniques to map the current processes and the main reason for me to go for the course was to learn those techniques and tools.  What basically I learned before I went for the course was:

  • Process modeling generates comprehensive, quantitative activity diagrams and flowcharts containing critical insights into the functioning of a given process, including the following:
    • Events and activities that occur within a workflow;
    • Who owns or initiates those events and activities;
    • Decision points and the different paths workflows can take based on their outcomes;
    • Devices involved in the process; and
    • Perhaps more importantly, it helps determine timelines of the overall process and each step in the process.

I took off on Sunday for Toronto and decided to rent a car at the airport as I was planning to go see mom in Brampton.  I just wanted her to know that she’s not forgotten. 

I enjoyed the course and learned a lot.  In the middle of the week, called mom to ask her where would she likes to go for a meal.  She said doesn’t matter to her as long as she spend some time with me talking about the good old Fredericton.  I took her out to a nice restaurant not too far from where she used to live and made sure that not only she knows about Fredericton but also promised her that I will get Lynda to arrange her visit as soon as we get settled down in our house.

I got back to Fredericton late on Friday night.  Lynda was in bed and she asked me if I had something to eat on the plane.  I said I am not hungry but I am not sleepy either.  She said go down to the living room and I will come down in a minute. 

She asked me about mom and I told her that she really enjoyed her meal and I promised her that you will look into getting her to visit us as soon as we get settle down.  Lynda said we should wait for a little while.  She said by the way I have invited the Scots for supper on Sunday.  I also asked Margret if they will be kind enough to bring Dorothy with them.  I was pleased as I wanted to talk to Gord about a couple of things.  She also gave me a brief summary about their week as she enjoyed having car to herself and the kids loved it, too.

Guess what, she said the other day our neighbour showed up at our door with an apple pie to welcome us to the neighbourhood.  Her name is Rita and her husband’s name’s Ron who’s an accountant in a local form.  I invited her in and we had tea and chatted about our families.  Furthermore, Rita spoke to me about the sorority she belonged to.  The sorority called Beta Sigma Phi.  She asked me if I ever heard about it and I said the only sorority I ever heard about was on the campus. She said this is different. It’s a non-academic sorority. Later we found out that:

  • Beta Sigma Phi International (ΒΣΦ) is a non-academic sorority with 200,000 members in chapters around the world. Founded in Abilene, Kansas, in 1931 by Walter W. Ross “For the social, cultural, and civic enrichment of its members”, the organization is now present throughout the United States and Canada, and in 30 other countries;
  • In April 1932 Beta Sigma Phi was incorporated under a charter granted by the state of Missouri. Today, Beta Sigma Phi is a non-profit corporation which maintains a contract with Walter W. Ross & Company for business management of its affairs. In addition to the International Constitution, each chapter composes its own bylaws; and
  • Beta Sigma Phi is primarily social. Most chapters are community based, but Beta Sigma Phi also has chapters on college campuses, and several online chapters. The sorority organizes annual state conventions.  The Torch is the magazine of Beta Sigma Phi, and is a 32-page magazine publishing stories and poems by members, personality sketches of International Honorary Members and others, and short story and poetry contests.

Lynda said Rita asked me if I would like to go with her to attend their monthly meeting the next week on Wednesday night which only takes two to three hours.  I said it sounds good and this will definitely help create your own identity as you always complained about being recognized as Adam’s mom or Mir’s wife.

As usual, Lynda made nice supper for everybody.  We all enjoyed our meal.  Gord and I took our coffee in the other room and started talking.  He wanted to know about the course which I gave him a good feedback.  I also told him that I am on the project only for a few weeks and trying my best to spend more time with the user community as I always believed that they are the one who can tell me what’s working and what’s not working.  I also explained to Gord that I should focus on creating a model using the modeling tools to reflect the current processes and practices which should be validated in the interest of accuracy.  Following that activity, perhaps I should go ahead and review each activity and the associated processes for that activity to identify the inherited defects connected to that activity with the emphasis on improving the performance of that activity.  What basically will require us to define what kind of information, skills, and technology needed to accelerate the performance of that activity.  This will provide us with an opportunity to take the inventory of the skills of the persons who are currently responsible for performing those activities in order to create a gap for what we got and what we needed.  In a simplistic way, we need to come up with the recommendations to bridge that gap.  Does it make any sense to you, Gord.

He said he was looking for answers to the questions that he had asked months before that what’s needed to make the system work much effectively and efficiently but nobody gave him any answers.  He said what you just explained to me within a few minutes made complete sense to him. I said you have always been bias and I appreciate your compliments.  I said I also need to mention to you that I need to go to Saint John and Moncton to interview the auditors as my goal is to make them partners in this initiative so that they feel free to contribute to the quality of the future system.  Gord said you have my support for doing anything you feel necessary for your project.  

Our Story – Chapter 33