Andrew Collins has been attempting a blog experiment this week – writing every detail about his day. This isn’t something he normally does and it’s quite exhaustive. I’m naturally nosy so obviously I’ve been finding it really interesting – it helps if you like the blogger of course, which I do.
The most obvious thing that struck me when reading it was the time he must have on his hands to write it. Can there be anything more annoying said to a self-employed writer? Probably not. Sorry Andrew. I’ve been cursing the time spent at work recently as time spent away from my novel, which has stalled just because I don’t have time to write it. And yet, they say “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” So, a challenge arises. I, too, will do this. I will capture my day on the blog for a week and thus see if I am actually busy or just spouting nonsense. Creating work to save time, in a manner of speaking.
I shall start straight away. It’s 5.43pm and I’ve been at work all day but I have a meeting in ¾ hour and time to spare. I’m currently sitting in the back room of Caffe Nero on Bridlesmith Gate in Nottingham. There’s no-one else in this room which is just as well as I’ve been singing along to the soundtrack they have on at the moment (mostly Marvin Gaye and Carole King).
I walked to work this morning as usual – it’s about 3 miles but I find it a good start to the day. Somewhere on this blog is a piece celebrating the walk so I won’t repeat it. I carried a copy of Cluedo with me. At work we’ve been offering PR workshops to funded groups and today’s was about how to write a case study. I found an article saying about how doing this was like a detective solving a puzzle so I leapt at the analogy and themed the workshop around it. This is the 6th workshop we’ve done and many of them have the same exercises to complete so any novelty is interesting to deliver as well as a good way to teach people in a fun way.
The first attendee is well known to us and a nice man. He asked me why I state that I am a Unite rep on my email signature. “Is it necessary on external emails?” It is something I did consider, bearing in mind the general perception of unions among the public these days. And yet we shouldn’t hide. If I can act professionally in emails and give a good impression of the union as well as the organisation, surely that’s a good thing? We’re not all Bob Crow.
The workshop went well but I felt that these haven’t been as well received as others we’ve offered. I summed up the evaluation forms and made recommendations to my line manager. We’ll see. And with that out the way, I got through a few emails and bits and pieces while keeping an eye on Twitter for the budget. All seems small scale stuff. And the announcement about equalities was a little sinister and may have implications for union work. I shouldn’t be surprised that the government regards us not as people but as numbers but it is still a terrible thing that they think it’s ok to make decisions that may affect maternity and paternity leave, health and safety, the right to a tribunal and so on. Not quality of life but quantity. What’s worse is the passivity with which this is received, and the acceptance of their statements. My boss came back from a meeting the other day at the city council and reported the tragedy of young people’s unemployment. Unfortunately (and I don’t know if this was his point of view or theirs) he didn’t see it as a tragedy that they may not have a chance to develop skills and talents, find a job that fulfils them and be able to afford the finer things in life, support families and so on – no, the tragedy was that they weren’t able to contribute through income tax. It worries me.
At lunchtime I nipped out and bought lunch – I normally have a packed lunch as buying it every day is far too expensive, especially with only one full time salary in the house. But we had my sister and nephew to stay at the weekend – which was lovely – so I haven’t been able to prepare anything. Simon has instructions to get something today. He has stayed at home to crack on with his homework but I suspect he may be spending a while watching Nottingham’s peregrine falcons on the webcam.
A quick lunchtime conversation on Facebook next – still munching the end of my sandwich (Atlas Deli – lovely but I always forget to ask for less onion and have to pick it out…) – I am selective on Facebook about the people I accept as friends. There is only one person there I’ve never met who I’m friends with as she runs Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour Appreciation Group. Interestingly I talk to her a lot more than many people I’ve actually met. This discussion was about the new Elbow album which she had posted a review up of. I love Elbow as many of you know. Yet I feel a little let down by the new album but not for reasons I can put my finger on. There are some beautiful songs on there. I will probably return to this subject later in the week but I do now have to get to my meeting.