London: Emancipation gone wrong

April 9, 2012

This past week I was three days in London to see early clients for Squirro and future implementation partners (The reception was phenomenal). Hosting me was Andy Honess, one of our business angels, and himself UK based.

London – of course – is as bustling and energetic as always. A great place to do business and be entertained. And all taken with that gentlemanly attitude to life. So’d of…

On the first evening as we went for a pint to start off the night’s program, we observed the following scene:

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At first this looked like a sales woman demonstrating the ease with which – thanks to her company’s novel product – you may breathe new life into a flat bicycle tyre. There were two bystanders. The two gentlemen stood their ground firm; a pint in their hands, an interested gaze and surely some pertinent comments on her performance.

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Must surely be some slothful bankers going for some cheap entertainment, I thought, quickly hoping into a taxi after the pint with or without a date. By now the lady’s hands were pure no more. The boys’ pints were heading south. Still no forthcoming and helping hand. Just circumspect by standing.

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I was astounded. Wasn’t this London, Great Britain, the home of Gentlemen? It seemed no longer.

I introduced myself and asked whether this was a covert Goodyear promotion operation. “No,” she said. Her bike simply had a flat tyre and the two boys were colleagues from work.

And why didn’t you help her? “Well,” she said, “I am from the US.”