Thursday 12 February 2009

Sing if you’re happy

My car has been patched up - it passed its MOT – it’s safe. I can’t afford to drive it anymore, but that’s a minor quibble. I spent yesterday afternoon shuttling back and forward between garage two, who had done some welding, and garage one, who failed the job because it hadn’t been done properly. I was supposed to be working from home and instead found myself fielding calls on my mobile phone whilst watching my car being welded for a second time. The only positive came when garage two managed to reverse my car into a Porsche. This might not sound too good, but the rear bumper was in a sorry state beforehand, now it gets a free re-spray before I attempt to sell the car on. If I’m lucky it may cover the cost of repairs.

Steam train
It was enough to have me pine for the days when I used public transport. For over ten years I travelled into work by train and even though the journey by car is hardly arduous, and using the train was never very quick (an hour door-to-door compared to 30 minutes if I drove), it was much more relaxed. I could spend my time reading the Metro newspaper (hey, it’s free) or even (gasp) a book. That’s right, I use to read. Whilst doing so I could drink vile coffee and munch on an over-priced cinnamon Danish – there was no end to my multi-tasking skills. I could leap tall buildings in a single bound. I could… I could… you’re not buying any of this are you? I lost you at coffee.

Working at home was much more productive than I’d imagined. This despite being crouched over a laptop, placed on a desk that wasn’t really large enough for serious work, and using VPN to connect to my desktop in the office. I didn’t check my blog once throughout the day. I don’t remember checking my personal e-mail. When I was called up to ‘attend’ a meeting over the phone I contributed far more than if I’d been there in person. Perhaps it was the novelty of it all. It brought to mind the Hawthorne effect – where a change in the working conditions (I think it was factory lighting) would result in increased productivity, temporarily at least. Perhaps when the novelty wears off I’ll return to normal; any advantages gained from having no distractions or being able to sing more loudly than usual will be lost. Singing doesn’t come naturally, I never could sing in tune – but importantly I keep trying.


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