I bought a layered prawn salad (or is it a prawn layered salad?) today from the supermarket inside the White City compound. And, as I made my way out through the exit intent on leaping back to my desk for an early lunch, I came face to face with the today’s big event in W12.
It was raining. Heavily.
“I’m not going out in that,” I said to a lady with her BBC pass hanging around her neck.
“No. Neither am I.”
I would normally have stopped and engaged with her. Never one to miss an opportunity to network (or rather, make mindless small talk in the hope that I might make a new pal), I always look on such chance happenings as being laden with future possibilities.
The truth was, I wasn’t in the mood to chat. I figured I’d make do with peering at the name on her pass. Could I work out her name and what job she did ?
I always play that game, you see. Sometimes I’ll stand in the lift and let my eyes wander to people’s waists. I’ll usually try in vain to focus on the name printed on the card. Sometimes I’ll question whether the person in the picture actually bears any resemblance to the owner in real life. Sometimes the lift journey offers insufficient time to be as thorough as I’d like to be.
It never works, of course. If former-colleague George was right, it was Greg Dyke who brought in the “we’re names not numbers” edict on the work pass. The only problem was, of course, that he insisted the first name was larger than the surname. What good is it knowing the person standing behind you in the queue at the canteen is a “Jon” when I can’t make out the surname and thus won’t be able to search for them on the email address list?
I know I could just ask even if I do risk being considered a little nosey. Perhaps I could just stop thinking about everyone else and just get on with the job in hand. Perhaps … it’s actually quite a good thing I can’t make out people’s surnames. I probably save myself quite a lot of embarrassment.