“No-one works longer hours than me in that place, darlin’. No-one’s brought in more money than I have and to find a new girl is starting on two grand a year more than me is just the final straw…”
Thanks to mobile phones, private woes are few and far between these days. Bereavements, relationships gone sour, menstrual cycles all over the shop: you’ll hear about them all if you keep your ears open while on public transport.
This time, it’s clueless management. She is clearly livid on the bus seat next to mine, as she tells a sympathetic friend on the other end of the line why she’ll be handing her notice in the moment she sets foot in the office.
I have every sympathy. She sounds a genuinely hard worker and for a company to be so blind to the problem it was creating for itself, well, it deserves nothing more than to see her walk.
How dreadful the place sounds, I think to myself. How lucky I am to work for a firm that is a bit more sensitive and wise to the emotional needs of those on its payroll.
My smugness wavers a little as she rises – phone still to her ear – to get off at the same stop as me.
Before crossing the road at the same time as me.
And heading in the same direction as me.
I am already receiving an urgent inner call of my own as to the dangers of hubris, when she turns right at exactly the same time as I do and we enter the same office, side by side.