Saturday 06 July 2013

Today was my second day at a conference IN LEEDS. That’s right for the last two days I’ve travelled from Manchester to Leeds AND BACK AGAIN on TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS. Let’s put that journey in to some perspective: it’s the equivalent of travelling to Rochdale (from Manchester) four times in a day. Imagine going to to Rochdale – and back – four times in day. You’d be like, “What the fuck is this shit? Why the fuck am I traveling to fucking Rochdale four times in the same day? Why am I being ripped out of my home four times and being taken to Rochdale and back?”

Admittedly I would have been outraged at that as I had to travel to Leeds and back – the conference was in Leeds.

I had planned to get there quite late today. My employers were running quite a late session, 5.30pm to 6.30pm – that’s late for a session at a conference for the teachers of GCSE History let me tell you. Sure, it’s not late for a rock ‘n’ roll singer having a threeway with a couple of fans and a bag of blow. But they get a lie-in. I wasn’t part of a multi-partner sex session fuelled by a bag of drugs. I was part of a session disseminating key information to teachers.

I should add that I think 5.30pm on the hottest Saturday of the year is a a perfect time to take a group of people who’ve been in seminars all day and ask them to listen to people gas on for another hour. Top notch.

For my part I had reneged on my plan to get there quite late. Because I am a professional, a consummate professional and I knew there might be people there who could benefit from me being there earlier. I also knew the venue for the conference had free WiFi. By getting there  a bit earlier I could find a quiet corner and watch the decider of The Lions tour of Australia – save for when someone was needed at our stand, when I watched the decider of the Lions tour of Australia stood at the stand. I fucking love technology.

Just think at what it would have been like a few years ago. I would have had to make up some excuse (family wedding?) to not work. Don’t judge me – I didn’t get paid for any of this, you know. Yes, that’s right: at no part of sat in a conference centre in Leeds watching an international rugby game on my iPad was I getting paid for my presence. Technology means that I don’t have to lie and get out of meetings – it means I can go and be quite unprofessional for a portion of the time, before being ready to do some (15 – 20 minutes) work.

Hopefully I will never have to miss importing sporting events because of stupid things like jobs. When England lost the Rugby World Cup final in 2007 I was unable to watch it* because I had agreed to be at the birthday party of my then girlfriend’s mother. Now of course I could just watch such an event on my lap under a dining table.

*I had agreed to attend the MURDER MYSTERY party under extreme duress – and England weren’t very good at the time and in no way did I think I would have to miss England in the final of a majour sports tournament when I agreed to attend. I pretty much sulked and ended up popping in their living room for the second half.

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