In my first job at the BBC, doing planning for Post Production, I used to beast in to my work, focus hard, and try to improve. The result was I often finished my day’s work in a few hours. I would then look around at my fellow office workers still working away and wonder.
When I got into management I would sit in meetings that were there because they’d always been there. People had forgotten why they were originally instigated but they still turned up, because that is what you do. Again I wondered.
Nowadays I walk through the city and look in on open plan offices of mostly men in suits staring at computer screens in mute dedication. And still I wonder.
Nowadays I am a professional pontificator. I get paid to think and share what I think. Sometimes I feel guilty about this. I feel guilty about how much I enjoy my job. About how it doesn’t feel like work. I have more than my fair share of legacy protestant work ethic. With a mum who was an elder in The Church Of Scotland it was inevitable.
But I want more thinking. I want more people to think more. I am often told that it is unreasonable to expect others to think, especially not at work. They are too busy, too keen to keep their heads down.
Such compliant busyness. Does it have to be this way?