Is there no limit to what people will openly discuss in public places? It would appear coffee shops, where regular followers will know I can often be found bashing out a story or two when I’ve swapped my mummy hat for my journalist one, are now the place to conduct business. Apart from failing to give anyone involved any privacy, I don’t think I’ve ever come across anything more unprofessional than discussing the inner workings of a company or individual next to yummy mummies sipping their skinny lattes or journalists on the hunt for story ideas (aka moi).
These are (just some) of the exchanges I’ve been unable to avoid overhearing this week:
1) A testosterone battle between one suited man and his colleague, one of whom had flown to their coffee shop meeting (in Sussex) from Liverpool. After outlining the agenda of their meeting – how best to bid for funding for the charitable trust they worked for – they then spent more than an hour criticising each other’s decision making skills. Not very charitable. And surely this could have been done over the phone? I still can’t help but wonder how much the flight cost the poor charity.
2) An interview for a new coffee shop manager. It transpired the existing senior barista wanted the job, but the man from head office conducting the interview told the applicant he didn’t think this chap was ‘quite suitable’. I’m not sure if they’ve told the poor guy yet – when I ordered my cup of tea this morning he’s still being super helpful and friendlier than usual, although I’m not complaining. But something’s not right when the customers are one step ahead of the staff.
I could go on, but I won’t. You might think this is all a bit pot kettle blacky: I realise I too am conducting my business in a coffee shop, but I am doing it quietly – silently even – without inadvertently involving anyone within ear shot.
I haven’t set foot in an office since BB was born, and perhaps I’m stuck in the dark ages. Perhaps this is just how things are done now. But if that’s the case, you can count me out…