The New Lawyer
Matthews and Sons were a firm of lawyers in London. They were a very old and much respected company. They had been established by Benjamin Matthews in 1770. They were also a fairly large company. Sixty lawyers worked there. However, all of these lawyers were men. No woman had ever worked for the company. In today’s world this situation was embarrassing.
At a meeting one day, Sir Reginald Matthews, the head of the firm, said that they would have to employ a female lawyer. The lawyers agreed and after a long series of interviews Jenny Thatcher was chosen. Jenny was a hard-working, assertive woman who got things done efficiently and quickly. She soon established a reputation for good service. This pleased Sir Reginald.
As long as anybody could remember, the weekly meetings of the lawyers had been quiet and peaceful. At these meetings important policy decisions were made. However, none of the lawyers had ever dared to question or argue with the decisions taken by Sir Reginald Matthews.
A few months after her arrival at the company Jenny Thatcher began to disagree with some of Sir Reginald’s decisions. The situation gradually got worse. After a few months they argued at every meeting. After six months they had stopped talking politely to each other. They simply shouted at each other. Meetings were now battles. At one meeting Sir Reginald got very angry with Jenny when she said that he was not able to run the company. She said that he should retire and hand it over to somebody younger. Sir Reginald looked Jenny in the eye and said,
“Miss Thatcher. You are impossible. If you were my wife I would put poison in your tea.”
The men in the room giggled. Jenny looked at Sir Reginald and said,
“Sir Reginald, if you were my husband, I would drink it!”
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