Wednesday, June 22

The Beautiful People

Yesterday I attended a presentation hosted by Clifford Chance LLP in their Canary Wharf building. The subject of the presentation itself doesn't matter, but it was aimed at professional Muslims. And before you ask, no, it wasn't a singles event.

So here I was on the 30th floor (with a fantastic view of London) of a swanky building feeling totally out of place in my jeans, trainers and t-shirt. I was surrounded by the more conventional suited and booted "professionals": so doctors, lawyers and consultants (although I think that some may disagree about that last one).

Of course being the odd one didn't bother me (you know, me being the attention seeker I am), but the inverse snobbery instantly kicked in. I knew that I probably had just as good a job (and no not in the "I'm proud that I clean toilets" sense, but more in the "pissing contest" one) than them, more likely a better degree and academic record too, as well as being more balanced with respect to other qualities. The difference was that I was more "real" - I don't do expensive suits, or weird shoes the name of which I can't pronounce. I didn't sell out to the corporate man.

Of course this is all balls; I'm sure they were all as nice and interesting and down to Earth as anyone else was, and talking to them I found that that was indeed the case. They were still different though. I don't want to say more posh but their make up and attitude was definitely more Harrow than East London.

I wonder whether, if I had chosen a more "professional" subject to study, if I woulda turned out like these guys. To be honest, I'm not sure I could have pulled it off, and it's why I never went to the Deutsche Banks or Accentures. I hate to generalise about the people who work in these places but it really would have been like being someone I'm not.