As a man with a spartan social life, weekends often feel more like Steve McQueen's 40 nights in the cooler than a refreshing break from the hectic world of academia. I was therefore more thrilled than most to see that my university was hosting one of its infamous "One World" events over the weekend. There are many events in this world which I will happily stay in bed for, however a fair trade eco-carbon anti-capitalist jamboree is not one of them.
Since returning to university I've been suffering from a lack of motivation towards my lectures. I'd like to try and spin this out as one of those mental disorders which are all the rage at the moment, but really I'm just lazy. If I can learn my whole course from a textbook in a week, then that is exactly what I will do.
If you've never tried them, eco jamborees are wonderfully inspirational. If rooms full of the over fifties can find the time to juggle Buddhism, rainbow rhythms and saving a continent, then surely unemployed layabouts like me can fit a little bit more into their lives. If you really want to succeed in becoming more motivated, don't waste your time with self help books and seminars. Get yourself down to one of these events. You really have to throw yourself in and question every single detail they punt; you have to play Clarkson's advocate.
Upon entering the festival of nonsense I was caught on the back foot. "That'll be a one pound donation please." Excuse me? What kind of anti-capitalist shambles is this? "Hello! What's your favourite type of bread?" a jolly funster cried. I wasn't ready for this kind of interrogation. In front of the funster there was a display of some of the driest, eczema-ridden bread I have ever seen. "Er... baguette," I mustered. She laughed at me (there's nothing funny about a baguette). "Write down your favourite bread on this poster" she invited. I quickly scrawled "McBap" as her back was turned and made a bolt for the exit. Before I reached the door a frail lady blocked my path and invited me to take a seat. Thinking I was going to get my palm read, I braced myself for bullshit. Instead she launched into some Tai Chi. I made it past her to the door. What a disaster! I felt like poor old Michael Bishop, the man who was going to take over as chairman of ITV.
ITV has been in trouble for some time. Sir Michael obviously thought "I've managed Channel 4, I can do this", only to find that he'd walked into a hornets' nest of idiots. So he added the condition that all of the board should be sacked before he takes over. That is exactly the type of management that business needs. If your company is up an unnamed creek and somebody has forgotten to pack all the propulsion equipment, you might as well start again as best you can. And yet in business there is such a huge reluctance to change. Just look at Royal Mail. It seems that the management have realised that the system needs modernising and have started to make changes: surely a good thing? But no, the staff have decided to strike because of job insecurity. A business does not just lay off staff for a giggle. If staff have reason to believe they are on the chopping block then surely the best response is to become the best Postman since Pat was sacked for stealing Amazon packages. What business needs is motivation. What they need is to get down to their local eco-fair and get inspired!