My first job was with a large law firm in the city. At some point during my first day I was taken up to the top floor and introduced to the Chairman. I perched nervously on my chair, as he, from behind a large and expensive mahogany desk, expounded the philosophy of his organisation.
'Think of us as a large supportive extended family', he told me and warming to his theme, he finished with: 'If you ever need to talk, then my door is always open.'
The Chairman, fountain pen in hand, swiftly returned to his paperwork. I took this as my cue to leave. As I did so, he looked up briefly from his file and said,
'Oh, and Scarlet . . . close the door behind you on your way out.'
Realising his contradiction, he caught my eye and we laughed together; within this shared moment we both knew that the only time we would ever communicate again would be via a polite nod at the Christmas knees up and a limp handshake at the annual Cheese and Wine party.
Which brings me to the point of this post: Why do people use these meaningless platitudes? Is it to demonstrate that they are warm friendly individuals; compassionate souls who can empathise and feel your pain? Men use them to get into your knickers and not to your mind. Trust me on this. From experience I find that people seldom ever want to listen to your woes, they have far too many of their own. If you need to talk you are much better off finding a professional such a priest, shrink or passing pole dancer.
I never say it, not that I wouldn't listen, but hell, when you want to talk I could be on the loo having a crap . . . and I really don't like being interrupted whilst doing the important things in life . . .