New job

Its been a long time in the planning, but I am now (finally) able to announce that I have a new job.

After nearly nine years at the BBC, I’m soon going to take up a new role at ABC’s Classic FM working on an exciting new project for a new, as yet, untapped audience.

Classic FM² is not just another classical music radio station: this one is for busy people, a station that provides those who don’t have time to listen to an entire movement of a symphony with an alternative: a specially condensed version of a work. From August of this year, great long Wagner operas will be a thing of the past. So too those expansive Mahler symphonies. Now everyone will be able to listen to classical music in the time they have available, without any risk of getting bored. And they’ll understand it too. It’s going to be a revolution, so I’m told.

There are many things to sort out before then of course. There’s accommodation to sort in Australia for a start, plus working out how we’re going to transport our possessions. In particular, we’re going to have to work out how we’re going to transport the cats to Melbourne. They’re quite picky travellers.

Why commute first class?

Once again, I find myself grappling with life’s many unanswered questions during my morning commute.

I’m on the 0837 from Hither Green to London Waterloo East. It’s a packed train but I’ve betted on the last carriage having a few free seats.

When I stepped onto the train I discover there is one, but it’s in first class. Being the good (still rather naive) little cub scout I am, I choose not to sit but to stand instead. Another man with a folded Brompton bicycle rustled past, nipping in ahead of me and took up position in the seat.

I immediately assumed that he was pulling a fast one and considered kicking up a fuss, before pausing to consider the reality of the situation.

This train started out at Orpington sixteen minutes before I stepped into the carriage. It arrives in London Charing Cross at 0858.

Who in their right mind would buy a first class train ticket for a journey that lasts a little over half an hour? There might be a little bit more space and a different coloured carpet, but is a first class ticket worth it? Can’t you precious types struggle like the rest of us?

Of course, it’s possible that like the man with the bicycle, everyone else in that compartment saw an opportunity for a seemingly more comfortable journey and grabbed it. I’ll probably do the same next time.

But assuming no one bothers to pay to go first class on a short trip like this, who on earth thought it was viable putting a first class compartment in the train in the first place? In fact, aren’t first class compartments on commuter trains nothing more than the legacy of a business analyst slightly out of step with public transport – and who knows, even reality?

Should the middle class revolution be starting here on the 0837 from Hither Green.

Recruitment has started. Let’s make a stand.

Break with convention

Convention has it (I’ve always thought) that every new working day should see me sporting different attire.

Back in the day when I was a IT boy, this meant wearing a different shirt and tie every day.

It wasn’t long before dressing for work became an automatic process, completed in a dimly lit room.

Little wonder what I ended up wearing was just a bland yet compliant uniform.

I imagine it’s a whole lot worse for women.

But who says I can’t wear the same shirt twice – on consecutive days – if it’s not dirty? What’s the big deal? Who am I wearing the shirt for? Me or everyone else? What is its function if not to cover my flabby torso?

Convention might dictate I should wear something different every day to work, but isn’t that a convention which needs breaking with?

The secret to a relaxing holiday

My iPad is littered with previous attempts at writing about my personal problem with email. Those draft posts go on for way too long. Brevity is the key.

Previous holidays me and the Significant Other have been on have seen us engage in an ongoing battle to keep me from my work email. For the most part that battle has worked. I’ve chilled as a result. And then – somewhere towards an end of my leave – I’ve quickly logged in ‘to check on things’. That’s when I’ve seen emails from people. Subject lines. Guilt-ridden triggers. I get sucked in soon after. And then my holiday is lost.

Not so this holiday. Because it appears my password has expired rendering the login process disabled for me. And the only way I’ll get it reenabled is to ring the IT support line which I’ll only be doing on Monday morning when I get in.

Now that is the secret to a relaxing holiday.