"Its just business." they say.  

No, you are just being an asshole.  

I got sad the other day. I was in a business meeting (well I was in a virtual business meeting through the powers of Skype) and someone said the killer phrase “well that’s business isn’t it?”.  

And then came the sadness.  

This phrase was being used to describe behaviour that was less than human. Behaviour that had become tolerated in this business setting and regarded as ‘the norm’.  

I became quiet.  

This tends to freak some people out (OK most people who know me) as I am not known as the quiet one (although those who really know me know I do have very quiet moments).  

I tuned into the sadness and swam in it for a little while. I had heard this phrase many times and I knew it to be the ‘catch all’ phrase (excuse) for passing over some indiscretion, unpalatable behaviour or a mere annoyance.  And in hearing the phrase I had probably nodded, rolled my eyes and said “yeah, its just business”.  

Except this time I recognised my sadness and then I heard myself say “No, that’s them being an asshole”.  

Now everyone else was quiet.  

I proceeded to say that this excuse of business was not acceptable to me and that the behaviour demonstrated was not that of a nice human being.  

Everyone else was still quiet.  

And in that recognition of the quiet I was about to say “I am sorry, that’s just how I feel” and then someone else said, 

“You are right. Its not right that we are accepting this, we shall have the conversation. Its not OK” 

And then I realised I wasn’t really breathing and I whispered, “thankyou”.  

The rest of the meeting was freer and more honest and we had conversations that really mattered.  

I realised in that moment there are too many things unsaid that build up and fester and chip away at your soul that we can choose to find a way that says – nope, not happening here matey bubbles. That is not OK.