What a day it has been. It's the quarterly meeting of the French sales team - never a meeting that goes smoothly. It's usually little more than a burning cross away from being a lynch mob....and it's usually me that gets lynched. Or shouted at, at least.
The thing is, you see, I represent HQ and they, being independent and all that, represent themselves. We have control over their activities and they (feel as though they) have little influence over us. They fight against this and they fight against me. Every step of the way.
Luckily, the ones who really hate me stay away. Well they do ever since I asked them to not come to the meetings. But hey. For every one of them that hates me there are two that secretly want me....he he.
Today, however, the meeting passed without incident. Well, I say without incident. One of them called me a 'pédé' - the French equivalent of 'faggot' or 'queer'. Which was nice. And one of them stormed out and sat in his car for the rest of the meeting. Beyond that, all went well.
So now I'm back on the train, heading away from the sun of the south to the joy of Paris and, ultimately, to get into a rental car and drive to Holland to see my lovely Irish-Dutch Friend. He tells me that there' ll be wine and cheese waiting for my midnight arrival. I'm very excited. I'll try not to bore him with tales of the Parisien.
The train is pretty full, what with everyone heading back to Paris for the weekend. Unfortunately, there are tourists on board too. Well, I say unfortunately, but it's only unfortunate for one of them. Which one? The little, fat American man who looks like a piano landed on him.
Thing is, the TGVs have automatic double doors that are prone to breaking down.
As I sit reading my book - Dirk Wittenborn's Fierce People, if you're interested - I can hear a holy kerfuffle coming from the door area behind me. Normally first class is kerfuffle-free, so I turn to have a look. To be nosey if you will.
The doors, it seems, have only opened halfway and then jammed. The American is on one side and his bag is on the other. Now, people are passing freely in and out of the door except for this guy. He's too round to get through, bless him. And his bag is too big to be squeezed through too. Alas, with the design of the train, he'll have to disembark, walk round, and get on again to get to his bag, but the train is non-stop to Paris....
The 'Chef de Train' arrives and asks what the trouble seems to be.
All I hear is the poor, unfortunate, fat American wail "I can see it, but I can't touch it". I hope he's talking about his bag....
If he's talking about anything else, I'd be amazed if he could see it, let alone touch it.