Smart, senior-looking businessman sits opposite me on the train. His phone rings; I capture his half of the conversation…


(Sharply) “Yes, you were going to call me back. A week ago.”

(Sarcastically). “Well what a surprise.”

“Sorry isn’t good enough. I told you last time what would happen if you didn’t improve. I’ll see you in the boardroom at 7.30 tomorrow morning before the other staff arrive.”

“Yes, young lady. I’ve given you plenty of chances to avoid a caning, and I’m afraid you leave me no choice. I shall see you in the morning. Make sure you’re on time.”

Well, at least the first three parts of this are accurate representations of their discussion. The other two might owe more to my imagination…