cleanliness, neatness, and regularity should be the ruling qualities of the good housekeeper and her subordinates1

Walked into the change rooms at the gym today and could not help but hear two 40ish women sounding forth longly and loudly on the theme of work while they changed into their gym clothes.

By golly, I thought, I hope I don’t sound like that! Especially given that I am occasionally wont to whinge about work related matters.

I thought no more of them until they ended up on the treadmills next to me, and I could hear their ranting through my headphones. And during the whole of my 35 minute run, they did not draw breath, but just complained and complained and complained, primarily about how stupid everyone at work (which is a certain behemoth telecommunications company) was, how unfortunate it was that their brilliance had yet to be recognised, how unfair it was that their manager had put in complaints about them, about random colleagues, about random other managers, about the workplace in general etc etc etc.

Bloody hell, if I sound like this, I thought, someone should give me a Harsh Look or have very Stern Words with me.

While I was showering, they re-entered the changeroom and continued to complain. Then one said, “I can’t believe Dora, all she focusses on is work and she is so negative, always complaining about it. I really can’t believe people like that. Doesn’t she have a life?” “Yes”, said the other one, “You see, we have fulfilling lives so we have heaps of other things to talk about and she has nothing. I really feel sorry for her.” Then they both congratulated themselves – at length – about how they didn’t need to focus on work at all because they had such wonderful, fulfilled lives, unlike poor Dora and the rest of their simpleton colleagues.

Meanwhile I collapsed in a fit of silent giggles in the shower cubicle.

At least I think I’m not like that.


1Still playing the random book, random page game. Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book, p18.

3 thoughts on “cleanliness, neatness, and regularity should be the ruling qualities of the good housekeeper and her subordinates1

  1. Unfortunately, they were absent today, so I have no more stranger tales, but I think they are pretty much re-living the same conversation over and over and over, so I could imagine it instead.HB, yep, not at All.

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