Sunday Column (247)

I am starting this week by explaining the day I had today, Tuesday. For the past few weeks I have had a cold, thought I had overcome it, when I came back from a client meeting feeling rubbish. It hit me. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen later I feel like sleeping and cancel my evening meeting with a good friend. I then manage to leave the office early to find myself on a tube. Overcrowding. London Bridge station shut. Overcrowded train to Victoria. Sweating, tired, exhausted. London Victoria station shut due to overcrowding. Open again. I press myself on a train with plenty of space inside yet no one moves down. Clapham Junction. A seat. By that time I was very exhausted (whinge) and as a result worked half ill from home the next day, was ill the following day and only felt better on Friday. Of course I worked normal again on Friday, felt worse again on Saturday, ok-ish on Sunday. What’s happening?

I believe I have discussed that before. We don’t really take time off anymore when we are ill. I have been pushing myself for a while and should have taken time off a few weeks ago but instead taking it a bit easier, working from home, yet ending up doing the same amount of work just not physically in the office. Silly. Luckily my boss understood, or not actually, and told me to get better, stay at home and be fit again next week. He is right. Good to have good bosses. Yet I find it difficult to let go, too much work, want to pull my weight and lots of things I need to get done. Nevermind, I seem better now. Fingers crossed this will last this time. And enough whinging!

Sometimes I think I am in a film. Not only with those colds and stuff but also with the above tube and train journeys. I don’t think anyone has thought of a movie called the “commuters nightmare” yet. That day it took me an hour from the office to a train. Then another hour home. I had some comfort food and an early night. Did I mention it was only Tuesday? The commute in London is getting worse as more people are moving to London and then, as they have family, move further out. Whilst I am unlucky tonight, if you followed my tweets, I am waiting for a few delay repay claims to arrive. Trains are catastrophic lately: signalling problems, overrunning engineering works etc. When we moved further out it never crossed my mind. We are on the main line to Brighton and Gatwick airport. Surely this is a priority line. Maybe not, or are other lines even worse?

I am not sure why those problems exist in the first place. Poor management with only one peak hour train to London Bridge? Poor management of train capacities, putting smaller capacity trains on at the wrong time? Old equipment? And all that for just under £450 per month. That is a lot of money! Particularly if think of the service you are getting. Appalling to be honest. Some people on twitter suggested to get the Germans in. I don’t actually remember it being so much better, yet more people drive and hence the trains are less crowded. But that might just be my perception and maybe it is so much better? Not much they can do here I believe.

Btw, the picture was taken when I was chairing the Admonsters European Publisher Forum in Berlin this year.

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Anyway, let’s focus on positive points this week. I published my first article on MediaPost Publications. The aim is to have a monthly column there. Thanks to Admonsters I have been looking into 2nd screens and their modelling lately, a fascinating topic allowing for some early adopters to really put their name out there with their technology. That and topics like viewability and view through attribution are still not solved, even years on. Brand Safety is on the agenda too.

Another positive thing was me being at home, if ill. I got to see the boys a bit more and realise how much they miss me and want to be with me. How much they enjoy me reading the good night story. And I learn to prioritise them over my work and work in the evenings after they went to bed instead. Servicing Central Europe, I started with an 8 am demo on Friday, took the boys to school, and finished in time for the Hassocks Light Up. The kids loved the lights and afterwards the dads met for some pints in the local. I tried to cut it short, still overcoming my man flu.

The weekend was the usual but again I kept myself wrapped up, concentrating on getting better. Next week is big. I have three busy weeks ahead of me. Lots happening at work.

Now this week’s blog had a theme I suppose. Work, work life balance and commute. A bit sad maybe…..yet that is life sometimes.

Have a great one,
Volker