Left John Player yesterday. Moving on to MCCP.
Had a really nice send-off. The GM Andy Meagher gave a very complimentary speech and the staff presented me with a lovely case of pretty good wine. Sampled one last night, and it is very pleasant. Chateau Magnol 2007 from B&G.
The last big thing we did was to launch JPS Black in the Irish Market. I will be keeping an eye on that one, because I think it has the potential to do great things, albeit in the limited context of one of the most tightly regulated markets in the world.
It will be a relief to get back to bright markets, where I am permitted to communicate with customers. My specialisation is understanding how consumers use products and services to express their own self identity. Having that understanding gives you little, if any advantage, in a dark market.
In recent months I came to realise that my role was becoming more and more focused on sales metrics rather than consumer insight. The time was right to move on. Understanding sales dynamics is well and good, but I don’t want to work long term in sales support.
This morning there was a hard frost. The grass should have stopped growing and the leaves are falling from the trees. It is time to sharpen the secateurs and begin pruning the apple trees. Changing job is the career equivalent to winter pruning for the fruit trees. There is an opportunity to reshape the tree, taking out dead or inefficient branches and making room for the high yield shoots.
So, in the coming weeks I will be examining my own career tree to see what branches need some work, and which ones can be pruned back. I wonder what the new me will look like. I also hope we get some apples next year.
A Song On the End of the World; by Czeslaw Milosz
translated by Anthony Milosz
On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.
On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.
Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.