My first week at Pure Leapfrog.
The first days were filled with the excitement of new days, people, and feelings as I was, for the first time, thrust into life as an “adult”. I have never held down a full 9-5pm job and Pure Leapfrog will be my make or break foray into life as a worker bee.
When I first walked in the startup vibe was impossible to miss. The long labyrinthine route to the little nook in Shand Street that gave way to a cavernous work-space remade underneath a working train line (Oh there goes the 4:30 train). The place is makeshift, and endearing in the way that only a place made by people can be. As I settled into my desk space surrounded by startups, and cool young people engaged in their passion and desire to change the world for the better, a message pops up on my phone “Leave vote gaining”. I push it aside and get ready for the tasks at hand.
During the week, I had to adjust to the people, and picked up the habit of tea drink (see Image above) and talking politics with my co-workers.
I was tasked with creating an infographic/map for the company that clearly demonstrates the state of community energy today. In addition, I have to work with a team mate to prepare a dossier for the CEO to aid in attracting funders for a meeting in two weeks.
I threw myself at these tasks(at first).
Nonetheless, the week progresses, holes appear in roof of the workplace letting water from the harsh rain above pour into our work space (see below attempts to fix the issue) as if mirroring the holes that have appeared in my enthusiasm and drive allowing the laziness and drift to seep in. Nonetheless, progress is good and tasks are being completed.
It is now the after on Thursday 23 June 2016 and my tea has run out and so too have the tasks for the day. It is 4pm and the late day procrastination has set it and with it the discussion of the future of the United Kingdom’s place in the superstructure that is the European Union (EU).
I overhear a conversation between my co-workers and decide to ask: “Hey guys isn’t weird that this whole campaign has been called ‘Brexit’, as if to frame the choice in the voters mind to leave?” My co-worker replies “Huh, I’ve never thought about that… though I do think it stems from the fact that people are being asked whether they want to leave.” I counter by mentioning ” Wouldn’t it have been better to call the vote ‘Bremain’ to frame it as a choice of whether to STAY or go rather than to GO or stay?”. “After all one only needs to read a page of Daniel Kahneman’s Think Fast, Think Slow to see how susceptible we are to framing and conditioning”. She looks at me puzzled and says “Huh, I’ve never thought about that. Anyways I don’t we will vote to leave” . That was where we left that conversation.
It is Friday morning and we all know just how wrong she was. The pound risen then fallen, the markets swooning, and financial experts nervously muttering “Is this another Lehman”?
What about Pure Leapfrog, this charity nestled amongst the many startups on 26 Shand Street. What of my dreams of innovating within the community energy sector and trumpeting the advantages of community ownership and initiative. What of my CEO, and co-workers? And indeed, what of these now embittered unions?
I turn to my fellow co-worker and ask looking for reassurance, “What do you think will happen?”
He looks back and says “What right-wing government has ever voted for community energy?”