DC W.S. Churchill, 2005. How Auto-University Solved a Murder.

I’m not sure if it’s my age, my musical taste or any other issue but it drives me nuts when I am passed by a yoof in a car and all I can discern from the ‘music’ being played inside it is a rhythmic thudding, which is assaulting the occupant’s ears far more aggressively than Napoleon’s Austerlitz cannonades assailed the ears of the Austrian and Russian Armies. These drivers and their passengers WILL suffer poor hearing later, but their inability to actually hear the melody itself is painful now. (Or ‘Right Now’, which is American and Scottish for ‘now’.)

But that isn’t the only sadness that is evident in these circumstances, and the sadness I am about to impart may be one to which you, too, subject yourself, albeit with perhaps a little less gusto.

Music is something to be enjoyed, but there is an alternative sound that I would encourage you to listen to. Words.

I am student of personal development and I have CDs up the wazoo (a word Microsoft Office recognised) about self-improvement (which some may say was wasted money), and productivity. Hence my authoritative tone on those subjects. But when I travel anywhere, they are my go-to source of entertainment, or even infotainment. I regularly drive long distances accompanied by the great thinkers in these fields, where I will listen to whole training programmes. I even possess things called ‘cassette tapes’. Some of you may remember those.

As a result, what I hear through repeated playing gains a secure foothold in my psyche. I can produce some practical quotes, I can summon up speeches on the subjects at the drop of a hat, but above all I am learning.

I once had a DS who used Auto-University as a means to study material for his promotion exams. I anticipate you can get audio training for those exams, but you can always supplement anything purchased by creating your own audio using a book and a smartphone. (And if you can sing the definition of Theft to a well-known ditty, you can “Sing your way to Superintendent.” © )

And why stop at ‘organised’ education through your car’s audio-system? With the way mobile telephones are funded these days most of us can afford to access podcasts on any subject under the sun, and I listen to subjects and opinions that just aren’t getting any play through the main media routes. I fancy it makes for a slightly more objective and informed outlook on life.

And who knows – something you hear may well impact your work. Indeed, one such CD gave me a quote that I read to a murder suspect’s wife as she gave him an alibi. No lie. I had listened to her providing the killer’s alibi with some doubts as to its authenticity, when I used Churchill’s own words. I said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

She paused, thought for a moment and said, “Will I get in trouble if I tell the truth?” Following which she said he’d come home on the relevant night and said he’d need an alibi, and his clothes washed. I tried not to dance around the room.

Of course you should listen to music in your car. It reduces stress and, if you’re like me, you love to belt out a ditty with the greats. I also do karaoke and am available for parties.

But might I make a suggestion? Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on a variety of subjects on your ride into work, and music on the way home. The one will get you ready for a serious approach to your work, the other will take your mind off it.

And as for the way police officers are being portrayed in the left-wing press these days? Ignore it, and as Churchill also said, “Keep Buggering On.”

For more on Police Time Management, please read my book, available HERE.

Published by policetimemanagement

30 year policing veteran and time management authority. Now I've combined the two.

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