It’s just after 7am and I’m sitting at my desk waiting to connect via Skype with some dudes over in sunny California about some work they’re doing for me. The desk lamp is on and the central heating is a steady hum in the background; outside it is dark still, and doubtless cold as buggery. I’d rather be in bed.
I’m most definitely not a morning person, but I’ve spent a lifetime getting up at around this time to get myself on the way to work. At some point, after a shower and shave, after a hurried breakfast slurped between tying my shoes laces and knotting a tie, and after donning the conventional uniform of the city worker – a suit – I would shut the door behind me and join the throng of people heading towards the nearest railway station, the heels of my brogues ringing on the cold stone of the pavement, my breath a cloud in front of me as I listen to the artificially and annoyingly bright tones of breakfast DJ’s, or else to some more mellow music of my own choosing. At some point, as the sun has risen and hot air balloons gaily festoon the morning sky, I’ll be on that silver tube jammed in amongst my fellow commuters waiting to be deposited on the doorstep of work. Thus another working day begins.
But not today – nor indeed most days lately. It’s a welcome development this, working to one’s own internal rhythms – in my case, a leisurely start and a late finish. I can’t hope to believe it will ever continue like this, especially as juicy corporate contracts now loom on the horizon, but it’s nice to make the most of it while I can. Which is why it feels so odd, and so unwelcome, to be sitting here on my lonesome (while the dog sensibly continues to sleep), waiting for someone on the other side of the world to join me. Doubly so as they seem to have overlooked our appointment.
It is a sign of the times. The global village, the global economy, the ease of communication made possible by the advances in technology mean that my experience is repeated a million times around the world today. I outsource work to people in Asia, and now through the States, without thinking much more about it except the money I’m saving. For all the apparent simplicity however, there are drawbacks. Generally you can’t just pick up a phone and have a chat. You certainly can arrange a meeting over a latte. And of course time zones are always a challenge – and may well have gazumped our conversation today.
Perhaps I should follow the dog’s example and hit the sack for a little while later. Perhaps, but the morning now feels crazy. Still, not much point hanging around here waiting for a call that may not come. Perhaps I ought to check those times once more…