Thursday 15 March 2007


Another memorable “meeting whilst travelling” was with a young and patently successful couple (judging by their expensive, understated clothes). She started the conversation with “Do you mind us sitting next to you or would you rather be alone?” “Please don’t worry if I start freaking out, 'plane travel panics me, but I’ll try not to disturb you”. With that out comes her laptop and she begins to tap away, I guessed to take her mind off of the journey.

I suddenly realised that I had left my ‘phone switched on and she heard me groan. She volunteered her husband to get my bag down from the luggage rack for me to switch it off, which he did.

I have a very old, very un-cool Nokia mobile that everyone is begging me to upgrade (especially the ‘phone companies). When she saw it she said “Look darling she’s got a ‘phone like you” and then to me “don’t ever think of changing it, my husband says it’s the most reliable ‘phone ever made” at which point he joins in the conversation and confirms “I would never dream of changing mine, the battery lasts forever, the functions are straightforward, the display is clear, it’s very robust and I only want to used it to make ‘phone calls - not to play games, take photographs, surf the net and stuff like that”. I was chuffed to bits especially when it turned out that he was an IT department head at one of the blue chip companies. Wow, vindicated again! I’m so clever. Question - so why does no one ever listen to me?

We delve deeper into each other’s lives. She is a natural sales person asking open questions and soon has me confessing “I’m trying to retire, but making a complete hash of things”.

More probing questions reveal that her mother was in exactly the same situation. Started a business from scratch, bought my new found friend into the business when she planned to retire but, in their case, it didn’t work. “It was her passion and her vision and I was never going to meet her expectations, she sold the company for loads of money. It was the best thing she ever did. Now she really enjoys her retirement.”

I explained that this wasn’t the case with us. Our successors do have the passion and vision (if anything more than us) and they are taking the business places we never imagined possible. The problem is entirely mine. We live next to the office and I’m nosy, demanding to be kept abreast of everything. Her next solution was “well you will have to move then”. If only life could be as simple as a conversation on a ‘plane.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Don't move! We, well I, like having you and old grumpy around! Hardly a day goes by without old grumpy coming into the office and trying to wind us up. It really is quality entertainment. However I am still a tad worried by his instance that I get a boat. What is with that?