I spent an exciting day at a business workshop in London.
My first shock of the day came when I introduced myself and stretched out my hand to shake one of whom I thought was a facilitator. She said; “no, you don’t need to shake my hand; I’m just here to sort out the video equipment”. My hand’s never been left hanging before. Hmm.
Thankfully I found a friendlier person in Vicky, the facilitator. She spoke slowly, carefully enunciating each word and with a smile. I think I’ll start to speak slower too.
Moving swiftly on I start to guess personalities and life histories of the rest of the delegates as they arrive.
The first to arrive was Sheila. Sheila’s in her mid-50s no doubt, very friendly with a cheery smile. When asked what her business was she proceeded to tell us how the company in which she had worked for 20 years went bust. So she took all her contacts with her and has now stared a business of her own, creating custom business stationery. She said the last two words with a nod. What we didn’t know at that time was she would go on to tell the whole story- nod included, each time she had cause to mention her business name.
Dot is a little round with a lovely haircut; she seemed really busy even as she walked to take her place. Everything with her seemed so rushed, like she was only present because she painstakingly edited her plan for the day and managed to squeeze in a few minutes for the workshop. This was further evidenced when she was asked what she hoped to get out of the course. While others listed an average of 5 points, she only had one. What her business was? She had two. The first she’d run for 3 years- a service to transvestites. At that point I crossed out her name from the list of people I’ll be staying in contact with. She went into detail about the fact that she was a naturist turned swinger. I crossed out her name some more. Then she finally told us her second business which was in project management. She talked in detail too about that, I re-wrote her name while trying to see signs of trans-vness in her.
Carpet Seller. Bless his heart he came with his daughter as he wasn’t computer savvy so she could help him out. Sweet guy, but had me wondering why he attended the course especially as he kept reiterating he was going to keep doing things the way he always had, even though the course was designed to reduce paperwork and make better use of one’s time.
I don’t think Ruhul knew why he was on the course. Recently arrived from Sri-Lanka, his bosses paid for and sent him on it, without telling him why. Lovely guy.
As Vicky wrote out our plan for the day on her flipchart, my eyes lingered on lunch time. You see years ago- in our student days Tinuke and I used to traipse around London, favouring good street markets. One of such markets was Leather Lane. I hadn’t been there in at least 15 years and couldn’t wait to go back. Vicky asked if 45mins was enough for lunch and I resisted the urge to shout NO!!!
The market has changed so much. Back then we used to buy high-street label clothes and shoes for a fraction of the price tag. There didn’t seem that many exciting clothes any more. I saw some beautiful leather bags which I priced for Suzy, she needs a tote bag. It was £75 and retailed for £250. He’s usually there on weekdays and Camden market on Saturdays.
I had no idea we had street food in London, besides hot dogs and burgers. The market smelled delicious- Greek, Lebanese, Mexican, Mediterranean you name it all was sold on the street. It was divine. Reminded me of New York. I went for Mexican and I tell you, it was good. Didn’t quite compare to Willy’s but it was pretty close. Now I had to face the challenge of eating it all up before my time (now 5mins) was up. And I did.
Thanks so much for reading, do come back!