is a great word.
And I think the following tale illustrates it rather well.
My oldest friend - by which I mean the friend I have been friends with for the longest and not the oldest person amongst my friends - (since we were six in fact) is in the same line of work as me but where as I am pretty much rock bottom in the pecking order, she after 30 years working in our area is now practically at the very top. Whilst this does mean she earns shed loads of money I do not envy her and would not want her job no matter how much it paid. This is one example why.
I was out with her last Friday night and I had to tell her off for not being careful enough with her handbag. Since the incident previously related here I am particularly vigilant when it comes to handbags in bars. Anyway, seeing how extremely careless she was we asked her if she had had her bag stolen before and the answer was not surprisingly yes - many times. The last time was fairly recent. The powers that be had reached a particularly nasty decision that a residential home for the elderly was going to be closed. My friend who profoundly disagreed with this decision was nevertheless the poor sod who had to go and give this decision to the elderly people who would be forced to leave their home. She drove over there totally preoccupied with what on earth she could possibly say to soften the blow (answer - nothing). She arrived and went straight in not realising, as she was so focused on what she had to do, that she had left her handbag in full view of passers by on her front seat.
She spoke to the assembled residents. It was as awful as you may imagine and there was lots of anger and many tears. My friend meanwhile had to stand her ground and defend the indefensible.
Then the door opened and in came a staff member who in front of everyone said to my friend "I'm so sorry. Your car window has been smashed in and someone was seen running away with your handbag."
And everyone in that room over the age of 65 cheered.
Blinded - *The Blind Girl in Hiroshima* (1963) Photograph by *Christer Strömholm*
2 hours ago