I became a barrister specialising in commercial and white collar crime cases in 2018. It's my fourth career, after 20+ years as a reporter, then a regulator and finally a banker. In these strange times, our face-to-face trade is having to learn to work at a distance, and every day's a school day. So as I learn, I'd like to share…
Zara and I were at Bar School together. She’s now at the FCA. And her desk puts mine to shame…
I didn’t think the desk-shaming would start this quickly. But Zara’s is an example of organisation and nice angles. Liking the colour of the backlit keyboard as well.
Plus she’s got classy artwork, which make my bare walls look like the travesty of stylelessness that they are. And the kettle/teapot combination? Nice.
(The Windows machine in the middle, by the way, is now standard FCA issue. Most of its staff work remotely at least some of the time, and I have to say their VPN/remote working setup is better than a lot of corporates I could mention… Good on them.)
Next? Volunteer your pix by email, please, people.
He’s a genius, that David Grant. As well as introducing me to Sun Ra (for which ta), he came up with this idea…
I can take no credit for what I hope will be a regular (if not entirely daily) feature of this scribble: the Desk du Jour. Since (other than those few who were pretty much wholly remote anyway) we’re all either making this the norm rather than the exception, or starting from nervous scratch, it might help to know that claims of perfect desk organisation are unfounded, unevidenced, and therefore probably a fundamental ethical breach (see the BSB Handbook, Rule rC6.1.a, about making representations which you know to be untrue).
So to kick it off, here’s mine:
The big desk. Bought with absolutely no foresight but wholly fortunate timing about a month ago. (At the same time as daughter’s new desk – again, no foresight, but goodness I’m glad we got it.)
The sunlight lamp. Critical, although the room faces west.
The laptop platform, as previously discussed. Avoids upnostriling (I normally avoid neologising, but couldn’t resist this) on video conferencing, and makes for more space.
The ergonomic keyboard and trackball. Critical stuff for me – RSI is not your friend. (Also note the Apple sticker on the Microsoft keyboard. Sorry about that. Had it lying around.)
The chair. Which has foldaway arms. Lord, I hate arms on chairs when I’m typing.
The Windows laptop in the middle – for a client whose work demands I use its own kit. Another benefit of the big desk.
The stand for papers. Usually sits under the laptop platform for maximum desk space usage, but I’ve moved it so the Windows machine can be centre stage for a hearing today.
And the external monitor. Currently plugged into my laptop on the platform and positioned so I can glance at papers on it without turning completely away from the camera. But I’m about to plug it into the Windows laptop for the hearing. Versatility, thy name is me. (No, not really.)
Two other bits of kit I regard as crucial but aren’t visible:
The pic of wife and daughter. I’m trying not to annoy them too much while being under their feet the whole time.
The mat under the mug, which is made with Hama beads by my daughter several years ago and looks like R2D2. It’s a prized possession. No argument.
There’s also a small Yoda torch. Sadly not Baby Yoda (or “Yodicle” as it’s referred to in our house), but you can’t have everything.