On the train to Hastings I was behind an older couple who seemed in love, like newly weds. When the man with the refreshments trolley came up to ask whether people wanted anything, the man mentioned to his wife that he had wanted that kind of a job but never got it.

The woman blithely answered, "They wouldn't want someone with your colouring". I looked between the seats to see the man - I had been sure they were both white, so I wanted to see "his colouring" to see what she was talking about. He didn't answer her. And I felt his annoyance - or it might have been mine. It's not like there's a 'race' segregation, in those kinds of jobs especially...( - though admittedly that train line does seem to employ only white men in all the visible positions....)

I knew she probably meant well - probably wanted to say something that made him feel ok about never getting that kind of job - a reason that isn't his fault. They had been chatting happily until this point, but from then on until we reached Hastings, they bickered. I wondered whether she knew why.

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