Wednesday, May 04, 2005

It could be worse...

When life gets you down, and even your cat kicks you in the teeth, just remember – YOU COULD BE A TRAVELLING BUSINESS EXECUTIVE.

On a recent business trip to Leeds I stood in a queue for the train at 7.30am and marvelled (yes! Whatever the hour, TBE is happy to queue and tut). I was sandwiched between three young women with sensible suits and luggage-with-wheels (“yah, Trish, I hear it’s a pitched day of sales presentations…”) while behind me were two men sipping at their ridiculously over-specified-coffee-with-lids. And they were talking, something like this:

TBE1: What really excites me is that these guys are really on the ball?
TBE2: Progressive?
TBE1: I’d say really forward-thinking. You can really feel the dynamism with them.
TBE2: So we should take a synergistic approach with them?
TBE1 would clap at this point, but then there’d have been a posh coffee fountain.

The train back was worse. Sat in front of me were a charming couple who were a) in love and b) writing memos on their identical laptops while sneaking the occasional kiss. The memos went a bit like this:

“Hi Patrick

I’ve been put in charge of driving forward SMART-UP, the initiative which replaces TeamFast. I’m working directly to ExCo, who I’m sure would be delighted to count on your support in helping us carry forward the resolutions as we form them through a collaborative process across departments and business groupings…”

Me? I was on my way to a meeting about making a game where Daleks kill people.

I was reminded of this on the train this afternoon. I was reading the Attitude naked special (bliss! It comes in a naked Philip Olivier wrapper, and includes an interview with Kelly Osbourne that just gives and gives). Anyway, having struggled through 80 pages of boy totty (with some content, oddly, left in), I then realised I was in a seat facing Three Very Pretty Straight Students. Realisation: Ninety minutes ahead of agony while I try not to notice them.

So I concentrated on anything else. Which turned out to be the businessman behind me. Making a phone call. “Hi! Ted! Hi! Ben here. Yeah. Thought I’d phone on ahead just to tell you that Susan and David were a real pleasure to meet with. They really got the idea, and were so onboard with everything. I’ve got a real sense of excitement and energy from them that…. Oh? They said no? Ah….”

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