What are you talking about on the train? Giving up secrets?

How many of us have been on a train journey and had to listen to someone talking loudly on their phone?

Can this be harmful? Is this something we should be careful about?

Most of these calls involve talking to someone to tell them we’re on our way home, or we’ve just left or we’re going to be a bit late. No harm there. Normal everyday chit chat.

However two weeks ago on a trip to Manchester, I realised the dangers of sharing information about your business on a mobile phone while on a train. It can be very bad for a company’s image.

Be careful what you say...

Be careful what you say…

Countless times I’ve heard people say ‘well, I can catch up with some work’. This is true but doing business over the phone where other people can listen in, can be very bad pr. You just don’t know who’s listening.

Let me tell you why. I listened to a man take several phone calls in connection with his job. I now know he works for a major sports brand retailer selling clothing – I was able to work out which company too. I know he’s the sales manager for that business and does a lot of travelling. I also know that this company is owed a lot of money – more than a million pounds – by a large British football club.

I now know which club apparently owes the money and I know this company is concerned about whether or not it will get that bill paid. I also know that while this man talks professionally and enjoys jargon in his conversations, there’s a female colleague who calls and his tone changes completely. The phrase used was along the lines of ‘I’ll always do that for you Emily?”. At which point I almost threw up.

Did he think for one minute that there was a journalist sitting in front of him who could write a story about such-and-such football club owing a large amount of money for kit?

If I know this amount of detail, how many other people on the train know this too? And where do these people work? Who do these people work for? Would this major sports brand want that kind of information bandied around?

As I was leaving the same train, I listened to a separate man talking loudly on the phone telling someone on the end of the line that a customer was ‘a right royal pain in the arse’. How lovely. What does that say about that man and his lack of respect for sharing his personal view about a third party in so public a way.

Top Tip – be careful what you say about third parties on the phone while on a train. Sooner or later, you could regret it.

Online food shopping – first time for everything in Swindon

I’ve been challenged to write a blog a day for the month of June by the business club I Am Woman – as I’m an enthusiastic member.


. As a huge advocate of blogging, I do try to write a new blog at least twice a month but sometimes life takes over.

So this idea of keeping a month-long diary seems like a tall order. But that’s just it – surely a blog can be like an online diary, just bearing in mind that it literally is an open book – anyone can read it. Therefore, like all social media, you have to think twice about putting everything ‘out there.


As June starts on a weekend, I did have a little lesson on something new today. For the first time, I ordered groceries from an online shopping site. In spite of being a lover of social media, I’d not done this before. The first lesson came very quickly – when asking your child to call up the site for the supermarket – with very orange branding – don’t assume the first site is the correct one.


It must have taken ten minutes before we realised that we weren’t on the right site. Another one, which you can use to get to any major store, comes first. As I had a money-off voucher, it had to be the right one.


Next lesson, it’s quite hard to navigate round this orange site, the pages are larger than the screen, so we had to have a lot of frustration around trying to see all the images on the page. Then there was the confusion over delivery, on an early page the delivery slot clearly said £3.99 but when shopping, it was over £6 and only came down to the  lower price when you’d spent more than £40 – that was not made clear at the beginning.


One good thing though is that I find myself less tempted to buy as much. I was much more focussed on what was needed rather than what I  saw to whet the appetite. It was actually a struggle to spend my £60 limit. So for me, that was a bonus.


It now remains to be seen if the delivery comes on time, is accurate with not too many substitutes. Who knows, I might even do it again.



Recent Comments