There is a girl in Master A’s class who cries. When something doesn’t go her way or when she feels she is being overlooked, her bottom lip starts to quiver and then the tears artfully flow.

I say "artfully" because this nine-year-old is a master manipulator, having learned very early on the power of the tear duct.

The class has been overseen by a male teacher for the past two school years, unsurprisingly, the weeping has gone into overdrive. A few well-placed tears work wonders on this unsuspecting young chap who, like most of his sex, feels uncomfortable around a weeping woman – and will do almost anything to make it stop and go away.

The girl’s mother finds it all rather amusing, saying her daughter should win a Best Performance award for turning on the waterworks. In truth, I think the girl has learned the behaviour from her (you know the type) and is even being encouraged to exploit her craft.

It wouldn’t be an issue if it wasn’t impacting on Master A and the rest of his classmates. He rolls his eyes at the mention of the girl’s name, and like most of his pals, he believes that her tears are simply an act to get her own way.

It doesn’t take an Einstein to work out what message this is sending.

I’ve never been one to manipulate through tears partly because I look like Fungus The Bogeyman when I weep. I’m also not very good at letting go with my emotions, even at the most unsettling of times – so tears out of the blue are impossible.

Irritating Colleague on the other hand is a dab hand at it (literally). Whether it’s a work-mate talking about their child’s latest achievement or giving details about a sickly pet she’s always ready with a calculated for-effect-only squeezed-out teardrop that slowly rolls down her shiny Restylane-filled cheek.

The tears also come when she hasn’t completed what’s she’s been tasked with. That little glistening droplet of water skilfully makes its way out again, usually coupled with a huge sob cleverly masking some lame excuse.

And, yes, like the nine-year-old in Master A’s class she always gets her way – and away with it.

Onion, anyone?

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