Impertinence

This 1983 diary entry by Alan Bennett (Writing home, p.127) bears both on professional tact and the insecurity of the freelance artist:

3 March, Yorkshire. I take a version of a script down to Settle to be photocopied. The man in charge of the machine watches the sheets come through. “Glancing at this,” he says, “I see you dabble in playwriting.” While this about sums it up, I find myself resenting him for noticing what goes through his machine at all. Photocopying is a job in which one is required to see and not see, the delicacy demanded not different from that in medicine. It’s as if a nurse were to say: “I see, watching you undress, that your legs are nothing to write home about.”

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