In March of 2020, I journeyed to Battersea, to check out progress in all the new Machines For Living In that they were building in those parts. Frank Gehry, who specialises in the architecturally strange, is building his first London building there, and I had in mind to be checking that out in particular.
But I saw something which I personally reckon to be even stranger than that.
As so often, I only really took in how very odd these signs were when I got home. But no matter, I said to myself, I’d go back and really check these signs out, make sure I knew who had put them up, and so on and so forth. Surprise surprise, I have yet go back. All I have by way of context is this photo, that I photoed by way of a farewell-I’ll-be-back, on the same day and just after I’d photoed all the other photos:
It would appear that the workforce of one of the many enterprises toiling away in that part of London had to run a gauntlet of uplifting propaganda whenever they clocked on and clocked off.
I still don’t know what I think about that. I do know that I was intrigued, and that I still am. Certainly management is setting itself up for one hell of a pratfall, if it fails in any way to live up to these standards itself. And I now reckon that one of these signs is itself a very public error of judgement, namely the one that says: “Quiet the mind and the soul will speak”. Do you want people putting up a building with mush like that slurping around in their heads? I definitely do not. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”. says another of the signs. It failed to put very much perfection into that “Quiet the mind” sign. “Be PROUD of what you have done today”. Not that day.
Hey, I think I convinced myself what I think of these signs. A badly thought-through mistake. Only one big thing had to go wrong, and it did. Just as soon as the signs went up.
On April 1st, according to this, all work stopped in that particular part of Battersea, the bit where they were building stuff. I wonder if those signs were there when work restarted. If it even has.
“You’re never a loser until you quit.” I reckon they rather boxed themselves in.