I was amused this morning by the lady sitting opposite me and also the great comic timing of the unknowing sidekick sat next to her.
From the moment I sat down she was on the phone. She is clearly a high powered sales type (not high powered enough for first class though) with a big deal to close and felt it quite proper that the whole carriage should support her on this.
For ages she droned on repeating herself endlessly to her clearly inferior colleague about what needed doing, what projector she will need and what are the key points to get across. The carriage slowly started to drift off as one by one the crowd fell asleep. Will she be picked up from the airport, will she get coffee. Who cares!
Next call was to home and now we all had to hear about how wonderful a Mum she is. Relax, it’s OK you have nothing to prove most people these days have switched on to the fact that Women are able to be successful and still love their kids haven’t they? Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t need to loudly have this amazing ability to work and still be a good parent shoved down my throat. The conversation changed as she started speaking to the husband. I don’t know if he usually looks after the kids or is having some time off for her trip away – doesn’t matter because either way she is a successful house keeper too. His list of job reminders went on and on, put stuff in the wash, take it out the wash. Don’t forget to get Joshua to School; don’t forget to pick him up. Women always do this, it’s not just her. If a man phones home from the train when he is going away, he simply tells her to record the Gadget Show and leaves it at that. Men simply assume that the woman at home will figure out for herself if anything else needs doing. Women assume the opposite and are not prepared to leave it to chance meaning that we not only get told to put washing in but also to separate colours and what programme to select.
Finally she finished just as we got to Reading. The man who had been sitting opposite her got off and soon someone who had just got on the train took the seat just as a man a couple of seats behind started up a similar conversation with his colleagues as her first call had been. Our new caller once again needed the whole carriage to hear of his success, perhaps he was threatened by the idea of a woman being more successful than he, perhaps not; either way we were going to hear all about his upcoming meeting like it or not.
Our new table friend leant over to Sales Woman of the year and joked, “That’s all we need a loud Tosser showing his phone off!” As one I caught eyes with all four of the people on the table to my right and all of us were fighting laughing out loud, a war which we all lost as she laughed “I know!” back at his witty observation without the slightest appearance of irony or shame. The looks of wonder she gave us all at our sniggering were a picture, no doubt trying to see how this man’s comment had been anything more than a short laugh, it couldn’t have been that funny – could it?