Today I treated myself to a ‘working lunch’. I took my laptop to Daebak in Vauxhall and had some bi bim bap whilst I read some documents. As always, the people watching in London did not disappoint. This was a mix of people. Hardly a melting pot, given that everyone was dressed like they had a half-hearted fight with last season’s Topshop catalogue, but sure.

At first my table buddies were two dudes. They were talking about hiring, seemed serious, and seemed oddly resentlful of their own seriousness. They concluded that hiring outside of the company was the way forward and to be scared of this. I was worried I might be hired into this humourless procession, and so I ordered some kimchi and got my head down.

They then paid ten pounds each (splitting the bill fifty fifty) and left, making time, also today at lunch, while I read documents, for my next set of lunch buddies. In came, and sat next to me, while I read documents, some development and sustainability types. These were two boomers, one male (who knew the place, and seemed based nearby somewhere, ordered soup noodles) and one female, a senior exec from out of town. They clearly worked for not for profit, or charity. All they did was use buzzwords, and gently beat around the bush. I couldn’t tell if they liked each other, or even enjoyed any kind of professional camaraderie. They spent a good while talking about where they wanted to fly to this year on ‘work’, and Canada featured high on the hitlist. Very sustainable, guys. They probably have great pensions.

The lady didnt know what miso soup was and asked why it was cloudy (soup man explained it was fermented and she conceded there were many different ‘types’ of miso, and then they changed the subject) and went on to say how much ‘more’ she had to offer the firm in HR and finance skills than was being currently used. He seemed oddly pained by this, as if it wasn’t the first time she had mentioned how much more she had to offer than was currently being used, while I sat there, reading documents, eating kimchi. Alhough how do you travel the world (it was mentioned that they might as well talk about the countries she hadn’t been to, rather than had been to, and then they laughed) and get to a decent age, what, 55, maybe older, not recognise miso and ask the clearly slightly peeved Korean waiter ‘what do you have that doesn’t have cabbage’ after LOUDLY announcing upon arrival that she COULDN’T HAVE CABBAGE? I genuinely don’t understand these fucking people. Jamming up the gears, gumming up the works, with their ridiculous bitching and whining and generational exceptionalism always expressed with the utmost sense that is reasonable behaviour that they have earned the right to. At least Millennials know and enjoy the fact they are taking the piss, and even make an art form out of it, asking for ping pong and Teapigs and unlimited holiday and flying cars on expenses. I once had an ——- complain her latte was in the wrong glass. (I was paying) On another occassion she regaled me about how great (and cheap) her life in —— was (they have two houses, another in England) and how the restaurant we were in was poor value. (I was paying) I had to listen to this as it was my job. She saw no issue with this, and felt it was entirely reasonable to complain about getting a latte in the wrong glass when I was paying and this was my job and we were there to talk about a ——-. She claims to be left wing but is of course married to a man who makes a lot of money. I remember it to this day, all of that, in a way that makes me think, either I have it so very wrong, and I should strive to moan about value for money (when I am not paying) or the right kind of glass to serve a latte in (when I am not paying) or maybe I am an adult and I learned not to whine about these things the second time my Mother told me to shut up and get on with it when I was five. I am unsure and there is no real possible way to be sure, is there? Maybe the problem is me and really, it could be.

I paid, and left, satiated, having read my documents. I want you to understand there is no way I can eat cabbage at this Korean restaurant, okay?

Published by gurdeepmattu

I’m an author and publisher. I live and work in London and am the author of “Sons and Fascination” (2011, Paperbooks). It's available here:

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