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Personally, I just don't want to know

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Apart from her smelly dog, Emily has developed this other habit. She makes personal phone calls all the time.

Apparently, the reason she brings in the dog is that her boyfriend and she have parted company and there's no-one at home all day.

But like all relationships the end takes a bit of time to finalise and this is normally congruent with the beginning of a new one.

So I'm now the reluctant authority not only on the final throes of Emily-and-old-bloke but, embarrassingly, Emily and the three or four candidates for the position of new bloke. Since I don't know any of them and since the News of the Screws is unlikely to pay for even the half Monty on some obscure lady architect's love life, listening to Emily's phone calls is less than riveting.

You ask whether the office hasn't got an anti-personal phone call policy. Well of course it does. But some people, like Emily, imagine that the policy is to do with the cost of office BT phone calls. Well, of course, it is. But, in the day of the mobile, corporate meanness isn't the whole picture. I've got a freelance mate who shares a workspace with a bloke with a penetrating voice who uses his mobile the whole day long.

Murder is in the offing. Here in the office too.

For, to paraphrase old J P Sartre, the great modern truth is that hell is other people on their mobiles.

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