Eavesdropping has always had a bad press but for me, like people watching, I find it fascinating. I don’t deliberately set out to listen to other people’s conversations but when they speak loud enough for me to hear them; I feel that they are fair game!
Just recently I was sitting in a café at a table next to two business men. I was annoyed with the waiter as he interrupted my listening. Not his fault I know but you see my interest had been piqued by the comment,
“I’ve got one and half million to invest as I’m trying to cut back and spend more time with my family!”
I have to admit I gulped. These two men were discussing, so casually, an amount of money that was staggering; and over a cup of coffee in a village café!
I glanced across. They had portfolios scattered across their table. Both wore matching tailored, quality blue shirts and were finished off with a clean cut polish that grabbed my attention. Surreptitiously I observed them. Their hands for instance were perfectly manicured. Their hair styles short and silver fox grey. They spoke with confidence.
The waiter returned with my order and I missed some of their next conversation but my ears soon pricked up with the words,
“I didn’t want her to cut into the inheritance but hey what can you do?”
Who’s inheritance? How much? These questions raced through my mind. Looking around the area, which to my mind was definitely upper class, thoughts of a maiden aunt – you know the type, one who would have invested in the ‘Funds’ like the Earl of Grantham did from Downton Abbey. All I did know was that the younger of the two men wasn’t happy!
The men continued to talk with comments beyond my understanding, with one of them writing notes. Once he had finished writing there was a pause and I knew another topic was about to be raised.
Suddenly a child’s cry splintered the air, which made me miss the opening of the next thrilling instalment. The older man, who by now I presumed to be the investment manager, had a look of consternation on his face as if he had said something unpalatable to the younger man.
I edged my seat slightly closer.
“It’s not tittle-tattle! That’s not why I mentioned it. You see it’s all about perception!”
Goodness me – tittle- tattle? What unusual vocabulary for him to use; a phrase that I hadn’t heard for many a long time yet so suitable for the village café environment.
My mind exploded. I didn’t realise that business men gossiped. Whatever it was it had obviously displeased the other one by his slight change of body language and the frown that appeared on his close shaven face. A quick change of subject was initiated about projections and the conversation again veered away from me.
By this time I had finished my drink and in all honesty could no longer justify hanging around waiting for more titbits, which was a shame.
As I left the café I noticed two other tables with men and portfolios discussing goodness knows what. ‘Didn’t they have offices to go too?’ I wondered.
So although there is a stigma attached to eavesdropping I felt quite justified because if I hadn’t had participated in this taboo activity I wouldn’t have had a blog idea now would I?
Thought for the day: Today why not take a chance!