Posts Tagged ‘law firm’

The time I told a man off in the street

For a few years, I volunteered at a legal charity in London. It was on a road with lots of important looking buildings that were law firms and chambers and inns of court, etc. All very suits-and-ties. It’s a quietish road during the day as the solicitors and barristers are busy in their offices squirreling away. I worked at a desk which faced out onto this street.

One day I heard some people talking loudly. I leaned over to see what was going on. A cyclist was getting a telling off from two guys in suits standing next to a very flash car. I had cycled in that day so was inclined to be on the cyclist’s side, if there were sides to be had in this discussion. As it went on, the two gentlemen from the swanky car just got louder and the cyclist, if he was responding at all, was very quiet. I couldn’t hear the exact words they said so gave up being nosey and went back to my work. I noticed the cyclist pedalling off.

Back to work, thought I. I can still hear their voices. O well, block them out. Concentrate. Concentrate on this filing…. I can’t. They’re getting louder and louder. I can hear actual words. I’m on the second floor up, what can they be shouting about so loudly that I can hear them all the way up here?

I peered out of the window. They were shouting, one of them particularly, about the cyclist. Still. Just mouthing off about how much they thought he was an idiot.

Where do these people think they are?! You’re on a quiet street surrounded by offices full of suited educated men and women who do not conduct themselves in this manner. These loud men had suits on and a flash car. So I didn’t understand why they were acting like idiotic students. Didn’t they get it? I became incensed.

I couldn’t work because I was so distracted by them. Everyone was. It went on for fifteen long minutes. They must have honestly thought that everyone wanted to hear their inane nonsense.

“I’m going to tell them to shut up,” I announced, to questioning looks from my colleagues.

Down the stairs I went, out the door and headed over to them. They smiled, probably thinking I was going to tell them how impressed I was with their shoutyness and could they please take me for a ride in their expensive car because I’m a woman and therefore don’t need any more form of stimulation than a fancy car.

I did not ask them to take me for a ride in their fancy car. O no.

“Can you please keep your voices down, we’re all trying to work,” I said, to two stunned faces. I waited, no response….

“O, and you’re just assuming that it’s us?!” the loud one said finally, in a confrontational manner. He was starting down that road, you know, the one which consists of a lot of ‘you can’t prove it was me’ and ‘you’re jumping to conclusions because I’m young and have a flash car.’ He looked ready for a verbal fight and gave me his best ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about’ face.

“No. I know it was you. Because that’s my window (I gestured to my window) and I’ve been watching you for the last fifteen minutes,” I said.

Silence.

More silence.

And then I flounced. I flounced away. Because I could. Because they had just been royally told off by a girl.

And that is the story of when I told a man off in the street.