Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wait for me!

Like so many posts of this nature, the way the question is phrased seems rather designed to give the answer one wants.

Give your colleagues a lift
Would you risk the early-morning conversation of your work colleagues in order to reduce your impact on the planet?

Were it only a matter of enduring a deconstruction of last night's putting a ball in the other sides net or what who said to who about what that is just, like, soooooo unreal.

For many of us, especially not living in an urban ideal, the bus or train may not be a real option, at least within a reasonable timeframe. Ditto cycling, and I find it just so cute how this admirable form of personal transport is so often gaily mentioned with none of the actual downsides. Doing a day's work soaked to the skin is hardly a pleasure.

Hence driving may well still be the only practical means to get to work on time, and in a fit state to carry out one's job, which I think to be fair goes a bit beyond just seeking 'comfort and convenience'.

Hence sharing does very much make sense. However, before scooting off on yet another 'why are you all so beastly to the planet?' tirade, one has to again look at certain practical issues.

While mutual start times are more predictable (hence the rush hour jams), and hence matches easily made, I do often wonder about the return. I've never worked 9 to 5 (and am now a happy..ish homeworker), but what happens when Mr. Brent asks you to stay back 30 minutes to finish off the report. 3 cheerful co-jaunters dodging wardens in the bus layby, relishing the chance to catch up on more Chris Evans?

The notion of a 'day' to address this is both laudable but also in danger of coming across as a bit more like the other 364 we get each year to raise awareness of this or that (it's currently a recycling week, apparently - which might explain the 20 press releases on £200 home furnishings I am getting 'in celebration of'). I hope it works, but do wonder if it's more for a bit of a PR/slow news media mutually-assured back-patting than really addressing the issue.

What I am more interested in is the mechanisms of the matchmaking services there are, how they can be coordinated better to complement local authority systems, and how the power of the web, IT and personal comms might be harnessed to better engage those out there who are not, for possibly selfish but also often highly understandable reasons.

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