Dead time

Black I’m doing face to face interviews around London at present so found myself on London’s crumbling transport infrastructure.  Over two hours to get to Latimer Road. Which gave me pause to think about dead time and what I do with it. I enjoy working in agencies because they have lots of dead time – meetings which run on without very much reason other than the pure pleasure of bright conversation, and hanging around waiting for people. Of course the great thing is that all of this is chargeable. But when you are freelancing and have sold outcomes not time then dead time is different – not necessarily worse. You can do nothing with it. You can read a book/magazine or you can get some thinking done.  Actually I usually prefer this latter kind of dead time because it is more productive – you’re waiting in the wings and when you start working you’re really going for it. But the wings is a productive place as as well. If you don’t have dead time you go stale – you need time to marinade.

On the way back from the interview on London’s crumbling infrastructure – the driver forgot to turn the lights on on the underground train so we had the bizarre experience of travelling in total darkness from Paddington to Edgware Road with even a couple of minutes pause in the tunnel where the driver announced irritably that someone had pressed the alarm. Between stations. Tsk. Quite aside from issues of safety, assault, theft, claustrophobia and general panic its charming that in 21st century London it is still possible to isolate perfect strangers underground without light for a full 5 minutes without explanation or apology. Dead time. But quality time.

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