Saturday, 17 November 2012

Out of my way!

On the back of the bus: "Can I make an appointment for this morning please?... I can't hear you... 9825831... It's for my son, Linford... Why are you asking me that?... No, why are you taking my details if no appointments are available?... There's no point in me giving you my date of birth and everything else if there are no appointments... No, he has to see someone... Thank you."

The woman who made this call is clearly angry all the time. She picked up the phone angry and confirmed her feelings by having the conversation with some hapless receptionist, almost certainly an elderly lady who spends her days dealing with anger and shock and whatever else from the thousands of people who call the particular surgery she works in.

I wondered about Angry Phone Woman as I got off the bus, watching her brow crease as she put the phone back into her handbag. Assumptions I know, but I felt that this was not just a bad day; rather, it was her modus operandi. Doubtless she was on her way to work, and I pondered on what sort of job she might do. I thought perhaps the civil service, or a law firm, either in administration, or - perhaps - ironically as a receptionist or shop manager. I can't be sure, but something about the way she dressed, the way she spoke, made me think that. Too smart for cleaning, not posh enough for senior management, not funky enough for marketing or sales. In any case what, I wondered, were the reasons for such a pugnacious attitude to life? A tough upbringing, with a strict mother and father? An abusive husband or partner, bullying her so that she has to pass the nasty on? A cruel boss, or an impossible job? A sick son? Whatever the reason, there's a hell of a lot of it about.

Maybe I will be Angry Phone Man today, after watching the hapless Villa at the Etihad, but somehow I doubt it. I've predicted 2-0 to City, and feel that we may get more than that. Famous last words, and my failure always to heed my own advice about not crowing may strike again, but my lead of 8 points at the top of our predictions mini league has filled me with a cocky bravado. Merlin is back at last; Carlos is surely due a goal, and Dzeko and Kun are both deadly.

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