Of all today’s most cringeworthy social media clichés, perhaps my least favourite is the line: “Here’s my office for the day”.
Invariably, the chosen picture will be an immaculate chalk stream or a glistening lake, purposely selected to torture everyone doing the nine to five.
For my money, you may as well just post the message: “Suck it up, proles! You’re stuck at work, I’m living the dream!” Not that this would be incredibly shocking in an age when even angling is full of showy lifestyle messages, rammed down our craws.
It does beg a question, though: who the heck do some of these folks think they are? Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Give a man some company freebies and a few followers and he’ll instantly imagine himself a “pro” angler whose place of work is #thegreatoutdoors.
These posts also beg the question: what office are you talking about? What actual work are you doing, and is gloating in your job description? If that really is an office, where’s Jean from accounts?
Another honest question is whether any of these smarmy influencers have ever actually attempted to work from the bank. Although I wasn’t brazen enough to Tweet about it, I must confess I’ve tried it and it’s fairly ugly. To be honest, using a blustery lake as my “office for the day” was an act of sheer desperation, born of a desire to work in peace, as opposed to fending off the wife’s daily demands and a two-year-old daughter who appears to have a bright future ahead of her in pro-wrestling.
I was tempted to post: “Here’s my office for the day… it’s an absolute bloody nightmare.” Assuming you can get any phone signal, let alone internet tethering, it’s very, very difficult to work and fish simultaneously. I take my hat off to anyone who can trot at 20 yards, while writing up the notes for today’s meeting. Bait and computers don’t mix – nor does it sound great when you interrupt the boss with: “Wait a minute, I’ve got a fish on here.”
The world of professional angling is a tricky one. Even if your “office” is occasionally the great outdoors, there are always strings and services attached.
Nobody is paid just to go fishing, period. No major tackle company has ever phoned an angler up and said: “All right Dave, are you fishing today? Nice one, here’s some more money.” The folks doing it full time are busy filming, writing, grafting and producing things of value, not just posting: “Traps set!” on Instagram.
As duff as the pictures might be, it’d be great if the next big thing trending on Instagram and TikTok was “basic humility”. I won’t hold my breath though.