One day I had just dropped off the children at school and I had a meeting in the area, so I decided to drop by one of my favorite cafes for breakfast.   I picked out one of my favorite tables by the window, right next to two gentleman who were talking louder than I was hoping for, anticipating to listen to the french bistro music. Instead, I had to listen to a conversation where you can hear every word.  Trying to block out their conversation, I grabbed a magazine that was full of some of the top places to eat, that I was interested in reading about, and thought it could distract me from eavesdropping.

As engrossed I tried to become in the articles describing the establishments and their owners, I could not help but overhear these two gentlemen’s conversation.  Some of it sounded like Charlie Brown when Charlie would be on the phone…whhaa whhaa whhaa.  But then I heard one of my business partner’s name being mentioned in the conversation.  These two gentleman were attorneys.  I had no idea why they would be discussing this case in public, and so loudly.  I was picturing the one attorney with a huge mega phone, standing on the corner and talking to the everyone… that is how loud he was.

So now my magazine had become a facade for diversion, not reading material for me.  I was eavesdropping, I guess??? My curiosity definitely took over.  So as I was listening, I was trying to rationalize what I was going to do with this information.  I could hear most of it, but what if what I was hearing wasn’t all true or was incomplete?  I was overhearing what they were talking about, but I was not included in the conversation, so I couldn’t ask questions.  This business partner was not a great friend of mine and he was actually a customer of one of my associates.  What to do… what to do… do I tell him I heard this about him or just “let it lie,” like in the 1998 movie ‘When Harry met Sally’. I choose to  ”Let it Lie”!  I knew that no matter if he had heads up or not, he was still going to become part of this case and, for all I knew, he may have already known the information, although the conversation did sound like they were considering questions they were going to ask him on the stand.  So I decided to bury it right in that magazine and let it lie, and it stayed right there in that cafe.  I still wonder how that conversation I overheard turned out though.  Now I understand how curiosity killed the cat.

Have you ever overheard things that perhaps you misinterpreted and turned into a big mess that could have been avoided?

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