Tulkinghorn feels standards of social etiquette have plummeted to a nadir.
If its not those youngsters loitering in public spaces, attired in hoodies and giving the few dutiful citizens intent on pursuing their civic duty a bit of ‘get outta ma face yo innit’, it’s those shameless creatures known as lawyers.
In a recent electronic correspondence with one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes, a property partner at one of the highest-ranking law firms lambasted what he believes to be insincere and elaborate gestures.
“The thing that really annoys me is the tendency routinely to finish emails with ‘Kind Regards’ or even more over the top salutations, when for business purposes a simple ‘Regards’ is usually perfectly sufficient,” he grumbled.
But he wasn’t done there. He went on: “And if you really want to get me going, beginning or ending a business email with meaningless salutations such as ‘I hope you are well’, or similar, when addressed to someone you hardly know and may never have met or even have spoken to in person, is particularly inappropriate.
“Do you have any reason to doubt the health of the recipient? Do you really want to hear about that chesty cough that will not shift or yesterday’s visit to the doctor for treatment of their haemorrhoids?
“He was now well into his stride: “Do you really care at all, or at least to any extent beyond that they are not going to shuffle off this mortal coil without having first dealt with whatever they needed to deal with within a timescale which is not going to hold up your deal?
“Tulkinghorn begs to differ. What’s wrong with a bit of pomp? Isn’t that the raison d’être of this esteemed profession? And with the property market the way it is, surely all that sitting on one’s rump could lead to greater exchange of ideas on optimum modes of treating those piles.