I’ve been surprised before by things I’ve overheard people say at work. I’ve even posted about it: suddenly, someone who looks normal, says something horribly bigoted. The staff over in Another Part Of The Forest still manage to amaze me, though, not just with what they think, but with what they’ll say out loud.
Over there this afternoon, I got chatting to the current office temp. He’s just taken his university finals, and is temping over the summer before he gets a proper job. He was telling me how great his time at university was:
I made some great friends there. One of them’s going into professional sport – he’s going to be right at the top of his sport in a couple of years’ time. I’m glad I met him – he’s going to be a millionaire soon, exactly the sort of person you want to stay friends with!
“Erm … yes,” I said, wondering if he was being as serious as his eyes said. That’s really not why I have friends, and I hope it’s not why my friends have friends; but if that’s the sort of person you are, fine. Later on, though, one of the other co-workers* managed to beat him. The temp was complaining about the number of Lithuanians and Poles living in the area, and she replied with:
Ooh, I know, there’s loads of foreign people living round here. Still, we’re not as bad as some places – at least they’re all white round here. I don’t like this town though. I don’t like living here at all – if I could, I’d move abroad somewhere.
Again, she seemed completely serious. No idea of the big hole in what she’d just told me. I stopped talking and got on with work; it was easier than trying to explain what she’d said.
* A girl of about 19 or 20, hoping to go to university herself soon if she can raise enough cash.