Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Gap Between Rich And Poor, Or The Difference Between Me And Johnny Hunter's Wife

I'm almost too depressed to write. Primark has no vacancies. And all that discount out of the window as well! So it looks as if I'm stuck with The Boss for the foreseeable future, or at least until IPSA's cuts cost me my job.

To make things worse, Mr Beales writes in with yet another problem - the third one in the last ten days. One of his clients won't pay for her wedding photographs, and he encloses copies. I'm not surprised the poor woman won't pay: a number of the guests are headless, including the groom.

I am surprised by one new development, however - Greg and I have always thought that Mr Beales was a school photographer. He seemed well-suited for this, in that he most closely resembles a paedophile or, at best, a serial killer. (Greg says that all paedophiles are easily identified by the double bar across the bridge of their metal-framed glasses.)

Anyway, whatever he is, I really can't be bothered with Mr Beales today, so I just dump his letter and photos into the otherwise-empty filing tray marked, Show to the Boss.

In the evening, I get another email from Johnny Hunter. A long one. His tone is very friendly, if a little boastful. He's only an International Director for a global oil company! Married, with two children - much younger than mine, which is presumably why he and his wife have managed to have rather more impressive careers than I have.

Johnny goes on to say that it is "the help" that enables him and his wife to keep flying across the globe with their demanding jobs, by ensuring that their children are well-cared for at the same time. He also says that he can't afford to downsize to spend more time with his family as "you know what school fees are like."

I am a gutless hypocrite. I do not say in my reply that of course I do not know, because I am politically (and financially) opposed to private schools; work for a Labour MP, and have put both my kids through the wringer of the state school system because it teaches them important life skills. (Well, that's what Max and I always tell our posh friends anyway - we don't mention Josh's gang lord credentials.)

No, in response to Johnny, I just wimp out and sympathise with his difficulty, as if I understand it all too well. What on earth is wrong with me? I have about as much idea of what his life is like, as he probably has of mine. And I bet his wife doesn't shop in Primark.

I still can't remember what he looks like, but am hoping he was that nice one with the dark hair and really blue eyes who used to catch the school bus with me. I must check whether he wears glasses, though. You can't be too careful in this day and age.

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