Words Overheard – Suit Slavery

I overheard the following comment while walking through the skyway during the lunch time rush.

Two men in expensive-looking suits were standing around, talking, in a particularly busy section of the skyway. As I walked by, one suit said to the other:

“…but he can’t sell him into slavery.”

The comment was made in a tone of voice, and with accompanying gestures, that suggested slavery was the best possible option.

I must admit to being equally curious and horrified. Random bits of overheard conversation being what they are, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know more about the context. On the one hand, he could have been talking about actual slavery, which could result in angry and potentially legal actions on the part of listeners. On the other hand, they could have been using code words for something else; or maybe they were playing a game, trying to see if they could get passers-by to react.

This was exactly like being forced to listen to some jerk loudly describe gross details about some disease on a cell phone while waiting in line to buy groceries – unasked for, unwanted and forever imprinted on the brain.

Which brings into question the wisdom of holding such a conversation in the walkway, during lunch hour, while dressed for work. Is this really something you want a crowd of professionals, who happen to be milling around, foraging for fast-food, to overhear? Is this what you want associated with your professional persona?

It’s something to think about.

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