Jane Lewis previews a day in the life of an HR professional in 2030
It's going to be a pig of a day. Quite literally. The Ardennes sow is about to pig (I love these archaic animal husbandry terms) and I have to be in London by 10.00 am for a pre-AGM board meeting. We're expecting trouble from a minority group of members over our backing of ENP (the pan-European Nuclear Programme). I've spent the week planning tactics to head them off. Basically, it's a no-brainer. How else do they expect to run their electros cheaply? We can't put a wind farm outside every European city, and the argument that a return to petrol-based transport is the way forward is clearly pie in the sky, whatever the Americans say.
But to return to the sow. My husband Milo says he'll hold the fort though really he should be in Frankfurt today. He can use the m-conf suite in the study: not ideal, but it'll have to do. He hates being pigeon-holed, but he's essentially a tri-worker: he's a private client stock-broker/cum traditional pig-farmer/cum career agent for me. I've had to endure some teasing about being in the thrall of my husband, but 30 years in financial services have given him an encyclopaedic knowledge of the market and contacts to match. Stupid to waste them and even more stupid to pay commission to someone else.
Downstairs in the kitchen I see the groceries have arrived and immediately begin to swear. There is no milk and no croissants. Instead there are 15 bags of genetically-engineered crisps, three boxes of candy sushi and a carton of beef-free jelly-shots -- a retro craze at the kids' school. At least, as Milo observes, they seem to have forgotten about the obligatory vodka content of our youth. But this meddling with the food delivery system has got to stop. It's a family joke that we can't write an encryption programme they can't crack within the day, but enough is enough.
The kids are at the Thames Valley International School five miles away, just outside Avignon. Obviously it's got impeccable credentials, in particular the hot-link with Harvard Business School, and the list of corporate patrons is impressive. But we chose it mainly because the education is resolutely classical: they don't even begin business strategy studies till they're 16.
I jump into th