Monday mornings are always that little bit more difficult… So here I am, having a lovely cappuccino in the independent coffee shop around the corner of my house.
I love this time of the day. For me, it is an opportunity to organise the week and to try not to panic about the long list of tasks ahead of me. Two guys then enter the coffee shop. They are French, reasonably good-looking and fashionably unshaven. Typical metrosexual, with Armani jeans and Hollister T-shirts. They believe that nobody can understand them. Of course they do. Typical behaviour, isn’t it? They sit down and start a passionate conversation about their respective trading positions while sipping their skinny lattes. Things are not well. The French bankers have the blues.
Taxes are too high, you see. It is not worth staying in London any more. One is considering going back to France, the other feels trapped because his children are going to British schools, but might consider a move to Singapore. And the school fees are soooo high and have even been raised. Can you believe it? His wife is having her annual health check-up, paid for by the lovely private health insurance. She then has a spa appointment and will pick up the kids later today. One of them is going to the Philippines for their holidays (where do they find the time and the money?). Life is really difficult.
The trading floor has been reorganised and half of the team has been made redundant. It seems to me that even less traders are needed given that they have been shouting behind my back for the best part of an hour, and it is mid-morning only. When do these guys work? How do they make their money? Their concerns range from the French exit tax to their latest equity investments. The problem is that their company won’t pay them their generous housing allowance after a few years and they have been asked to go local. How rude! You see, it is not worth it, and they can’t finance their lifestyle on a local salary. Maybe they would like to be expats for life.
Finally, they stood up and left. They were still complaining. I couldn’t believe it. Come on, how can you complain when you obviously have so much? This got me thinking: my target for this week is to be grateful for what I have. Time to stop complaining! I might be French too but I will make a point of NOT complaining.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London