Yesterday I overheard a conversation featuring an outrageous comment, which I eventually decided I could not let go even though I don’t normally speak out. I was on the train to Guildford to attend an informal meeting of the Silver Academy (more of that in a future post). At Haslemere, the last stop before my destination, a woman and two men boarded and took the seats in front of me. The carriage was supposedly a Quiet Zone but their conversation was very loud and it soon transpired that they were property developers, or similar. Now my husband is a local authority planner and it’s fair to say developers and planners are not natural friends, so my ears pricked up when the woman referred to the numerous job cuts pending in a nearby local authority, and then said “I wonder if Michael Bloggs [obviously not his real name!] will lose his job? Julia would be delighted!” Now Mike is a colleague of my husband and it really made me angry to hear someone talk so offensively about someone’s livelihood, so when I got up to leave the train I said to the woman “Were you talking about Mike Bloggs? Well, he’s a friend of mine and I hope he doesn’t lose his job!” In response I got an insincere smile and an “I’m so sorry”. I didn’t see any more reaction from her or her colleagues as I had to turn and get off, but I certainly felt better for standing up to such unpleasant remarks.
So, people, please watch what you say when out and about! You don’t need to have your voicemail tapped or leave your microphone on to have your comments made public.