What do you do when it all gets too much? I am trying hard to take my business to the next level, and, over the last couple of months, I have had more than my fair share of patronising comments. Don’t get me wrong, it is all taking shape and I will get there eventually, but there is a limit to the amount of cheap statements and condescending looks I can take and, today, I simply needed a break. Just to give you a flavour of what I am talking about, here is a quick selection:
1. You don’t have a business acumen, Darling, you shouldn’t have stopped working in an office (from family –they all used to be civil servants);
2. You should read the latest publications about the Friggit’s tunnel (French mathematical model as to what property prices should be). I certainly wasn’t expecting a lecture when I started to present my project. For the records, I am not selling anything, my project is about property management (French bank);
3. I am not sure that I can give you an answer today, and I need to make a few phone calls. I will call you back shortly (British Bank). I am still waiting.
As you can see, the French have different ways of saying no than the Brits, but it all comes down to the same result.
To recharge my batteries (more precisely my ability to hear rubbish comments without losing my composure), I decided to walk around London for a couple of hours. This is something I sometimes do to forget it all. As it wasn’t raining this morning (for once), I decided to go. I just walked, looking at the people, the streets, the buildings, not saying a word and not answering my phone. There is something energising in London’s streets. One minute, you hear people shouting in their phone in languages you can’t understand and the next, you are just walking on your own in a lovely street of terraced houses.
I especially enjoyed this:
This is the architectural equivalent of a crescendo. A crescendo of houses. They are higher and higher. The sky is the limit.
I also marvelled at the woman in front of me, who was taking multi-tasking to a whole new level: she was pushing a pram and talking on the phone at the same time.
What you can’t see is on the photo that there was a coffee stuck in the pram and she was sipping it from time to time, while pushing the pram with her hips, and holding her phone. Then, 50 yards after this picture was taken, she stopped and opened an entrance door. Once unlocked, she pushed the door with one of her feet, still talking on her phone and pushing the pram. Wow. She is one of London’s unsung heroes.
But the best was yet to come. I overheard a lady talking on her mobile phone. I have absolutely no idea what she was talking about, but here is what she was saying:
“- Well, I sort of said I would…”
This is genius: instead of simply saying “yes”, or “I have”, she used no less than 7 words. That’s exactly what I am missing. This is a talent I don’t have. I need to use more words. “Yes” is much too direct. And why only use one word when you could use a whole sentence?
I came back home and found out that I had a message from my insurance company. I have threatened to cancel my contract several times because they keep increasing their price. I called them back and they asked me whether I would reconsider my position if they were to give me a generous discount. I wanted to say “yes of course” but somehow ended up saying “Well, I have already sort of said I would”. There is nothing like a walk around London to give you new ideas to get what you want!
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London