The rabble

There was a time when I imagined that in my sixties life would have started to become a pleasant, carefree stroll through the sunlit uplands. Ah well …

This is what has been competing for space in my head this week. Why collagen makes better sausage skins than animal gut. Why you should leave your money to a famous university. How to teach a group of administrators in Zurich to write better reports. What to call a new bottling of a famous whisky. How to be interesting and witty about a firm of stockbrokers. Why you should send your children to a certain well-known school. How to encourage groups of chief executives to tell stories. How to market a Dark Angels course in Sweden (not difficult). How to teach 3,000 Indian managers to make better contact with their customers and colleagues (more difficult). What to do about my elderly mother who is losing the plot five hundred miles away in Kent (very difficult). How to finish the almost finished novel I haven’t been finishing for the last eighteen months (impossible). What to do about an epileptic iPhone. And what to write about in this blog.

These are no vague musings, rather a platoon of small but highly trained attention-seekers armed with megaphones. They shout at me first thing in the morning. They whisper and nag me last thing at night. And they know nothing about collaboration. It’s each one for himself and may the loudest, the most insistent win. I was wrong. They’re a rabble, not a platoon.

Earlier this week I sent through the first draft of an interview to its subject, one of the people whose stories feature in the school recruitment brochure. He rang me a couple of days later. It made him anxious, he said. He had talked about certain family issues. It was very personal.

I replied that the interest for the reader, and the value to the school, lay precisely in the personal aspect of his story; that without it, it might end up reading simply like a CV. He agreed, but still felt that some of what I had written was too close to the bone. We duly toned it down – without, I hope, losing any of the warmth and candour he had transmitted during the interview. The story still makes the point that the school had equipped him well to deal with the challenges of adult life.

On which subject, I spent last night with my son Jake in Newcastle. He’s in his second year of a business studies course. We went out to dinner and he talked about his preoccupations, all entirely real and deserving of serious consideration. I listened to him and thought of my rabble. What a good thing it is, I thought, that we only really acknowledge the things we know we can deal with.

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About Jamie Jauncey

Author, writer, blogger, facilitator, musician, co-founder of Dark Angels and The Stories We Tell
Gallery | This entry was posted in Business stories, Business writing, Dark Angels, Family, Stories and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The rabble

  1. Bigbrandjohn says:

    I feel your rabble. Like age, it is a global phenomenon. Even in Coopersburg. But for a couple of days, the rabble fell silent. I almost missed a global meeting at the break of dawn. Must have been the influence of Angels -a Dark one in particular. And although the rabble has returned in volume, the intensity does not seem so great. Maybe it is the poetry that I have started to read first thing in the morning. Carver first and IPad second. Those Executive Dark Angels leave their mark if only in a fleeting moment. Don't forget the power you wield Mr Executive Dark Angel, Northern branch. Use it wisely and let no rabble clip your wings.

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