I discovered an interesting thing when I was out on Thursday night. Did you know – and you probably didn’t, because why would you – that when I leave or enter the country, the HR person at the mister’s place of employment gets a text to let him know that I have left or entered. I think he gets a text about everyone whose visa is connected to the mister’s workplace.
Also, some misters receive the texts…I think this is an opt-in arrangement though, because the mister doesn’t get such a text (or so he says, and if he’s just saying it to save himself another conversation, well, I wouldn’t blame him, because how would it differ from any of the other conversations we have?).
I should, at this point, point out that this whole texting thing doesn’t hinge so much on being a mister as it does on being the person with the work-sponsored visa. If it were my employment which had brought us here, and I had subsequently sponsored the mister and the lads, then I would get the texts (we would also be living in a parallel universe where unicorns deliver toasted sandwiches and give foot massages, but that’s a whole different blog post, isn’t it).
I mention this, because the other day, I met a woman who has just arrived here, and we got to talking and one thing led to another and it turns out she is living in the same apartment building as another friend of mine used to live. So I said to this new woman, ‘Does your husband work for [insert name of large employer who has the tenancy for a lot of that building]?’. And she said, ‘Well, actually, I’m a single mother.’
I was mortified and of course I apologised. But my goodness me. I mean, on the one hand, sure I live in a society where such assumptions are more likely to be correct. But, far out, to have so quickly become someone who accepts such assumptions. And who voices them.
Must away, tennis parties to attend, gins to drink, that kind of thing.