As we walked through cyber city to where we needed to go, it was an interesting awakening as to how it all worked. White City is the address and white it is indeed. The buildings and decor look vaguely reminiscent of the Big Brother set. Completely modern and scarily angular.
A far cry from the original White City that the site is named after.
It was 5 p.m. as we arrived, and so the building was being vacated by hundreds of staff, or so we thought. Everyone looked the same. All thin and wiry with girls who all had long hair and jeans with trousers that fitted them, but which would be too tight on your average person's Barbie doll.
As we sat down, I looked ahead. Through the window I saw a bar, where people were buying drinks and settling in for the evening. Needing to post a card for my father for Father's Day, I asked someone if there was a post box nearby. I was directed to a post office, which conveniently was placed on site, along with a Starbucks, a Tesco, a beauty parlour, hairdressers and a restaurant. I went back to ED and commented that no-one need ever go home. We decided that all they would need would be a sleeping bag and they could live and work there forever.
In fact, it was suddenly clear as to why the BBC is such a closed shop when it comes to getting a job. You clearly have to be born into the BBC Cyber Community. I think they must have a maternity wing on floor 10 and a retirement wing on floor 12. From here, they breed all their future BBC employees to provide the rest of us with the next generation of newscasters and BBC producers.
This is where they quite clearly get the ideas for the Dr. Who scripts. How ironic. So close to home and so far from the rest of the world.
ED and I decide to have a Starbucks at the on site facility, prior to returning home on the train. I notice that they have managed to get the same pricing structure through to to Cyber City and spend most of the next ten minutes in a daze at having spent £5 on a coffee, and orange juice and two biscuits. And they didn't even give me a china mug for my coffee.
We then went next door into Tesco to buy some sustenance for the train, where of course I could have bought 10 litres of orange juice for that same £5.
As we left Cyber City, we walked past many BBC employees having drinks on the lawns, settling in for the weekend. And then I had a sudden dawning.
I knew the reason why, despite 20 years of applying for jobs in the BEEB, writing to them, blagging interviews, doing voluntary stuff for them with the Action Desk, working on a Community station for three years, writing a newspaper column for three years, and doing professional voice overs for people, I had still not been successful in getting a job with old Auntie.
It isn't that I wasn't born into the community on Floor 10, or that my experience isn't relevant.
It's because my legs aren't thin enough. Not necessarily fat you understand, just not Barbie thin. Never have been. Of course, they won't let people know that that plays a part in their recruitment process. They couldn't. But I know. They can't pretend to me any longer.
And now, with that knowledge I feel so much better about life.
And if you happen to see Mark Thompson on your travels, do let him know that I've worked out "The Secret" won't you?
p.s. A card arrived this morning from Enidd, of, seemingly, another "White City", in Molvania. It took a while to reach me from Molvania, but it got here at last. It's the second one she sent, as the first one has got lost somewhere in postland. But it arrived just in time for Enidd to settle into the USA! Thank you Enidd! It was much appreciated.
Thank you Enidd!:
A picture of White City in 1908. This is the site that was used later for the BBC White City.
Sally's writing is about being a mother of five, now all too grown up, children, (four girls, one boy) a husband, a dog, and a serious ambition to be a mortgage free and famous actress, voice over artist, broadcaster, writer and teacher.
The "Cast" List for the blog includes:
Hubby - Her husband,
ED - Eldest Daughter,
ESOS - Eldest son only son,
Sensible - Second daughter,
Gymnast - Third daughter,
Tinkerbell Mushroom - Youngest daughter and youngest child,
Mad Dog - AKA Lucy - the border collie.
Guest appearances by MIL (mother in law), parents, two brothers, inlaws, nephews, nieces and great nephew.