Working for Hobeck is not your everyday 9-5 office job. Neither of us sit down at a laptop at 9am, work for four hours, break for lunch when the gong goes off, and then work again until the final whistle at 5pm. In fact, I have rarely worked like that, at least not for a long time now. I spent some time in my early twenties working for a temping agency in Oxford. I was set to work in some quite traditional places such as council buildings, hospital administration, colleges and exam syndicates where everyone did start at 9am, break for lunch and end when the final alarm sounded. One of those places permitted (encouraged, or perhaps forced) everyone to break for afternoon tea at 3.30pm. Tea was served in large metal urns (not coffee) and biscuits were laid out neatly for all the employees, from management to minions, in a large spacious room that smelt of the 1950s. Tea lasted 15 minutes. Very British. Very quaint. However, not very creative.
In our separate pre-Hobeck working lives, Adrian and I have both struggled with the working day constraints imposed by the companies we worked for. I haven't been an employee for nearly 17 years now so I have become accustomed to working at odd times of the day and in odd locations (on the beach, in the bath, in bed, in cafes, in waiting rooms and yes, I confess, while watching nativity plays). He, on the other hand, is new to this flexible working life lark. And he has taken to it brilliantly. Quack, quack, splash.
Yesterday we had to travel to Macclesfield together. This may seem to imply that we didn't do much work yesterday. Au contraire. We did loads. We often talk about work when we are side by side in a car (at least we do when Adrian is driving). In fact, we have come up with our our best ideas, most innovative thoughts and most sparkly gems while in the car. I always take my notebook with me because I know I am going to be writing copious notes in it. We discuss all sorts: our own writing, our authors and their writing, marketing ideas, feedback for submissions, ideas for our mailing list, and decisions about the future. We also chat about things that have gone right so far, and things that we think we could have done better thus far. I love these car journeys. They are our most productive time. Perhaps we should ride around randomly more often?
We are still learning and we probably always will be learning. The publishing world is always in flux so we have to adapt to keep up with it. I love that about this job though. It is never easy. It is constantly challenging both of us.
Our next big journey is going to be a trip to the Essex coast to see our newest author, Wendy Turbin. What future Hobeck plans will be born on that journey, I wonder? Watch this space. There are always exciting times ahead. And we are on our way there (in a Ford Focus).