Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Am I Turning into Victor Meldrew?





"What in the name of sanity is happening to our transport system and the moral fabric of polite society?"
At the time of writing this it is 09:18 and I have been in the office for ten minutes. Nothing unusual in that but for the fact I am usually in the same place at 07:50.
Overhead power cable problems in the Bethnal Green area (a railway choke point if ever there was one) meant a full hour on my journey with the unexpected and added bonus of the world-renowned 'Stratford two platform shuffle' as we were unceremoniously dumped at the said station and had to rush between two platforms for any chance of train into London. The Tube (or subway to our American cousins) is usually packed at the best of times during the rush hour and the solid phalanx of commuters packed some eight deep meant that it would take an age to use that particular mode of transport.
Prior to this debacle I had the misfortune to be sat next to three admittedly rather attractive young ladies who spent the entire journey chirping away like so many fluttering Parakeets whilst I tried manfully to draft some ship charts. After the initial application of make up (ladies, should this not be done at home?) the three young ladies (and the inevitable comparison of products etc) then engaged in a communal texting session followed by the rest of the journey consisting of various discussions centred around work, boyfriends and the usual 'I turned round and said, and she turned round and said' (does anybody actually 'turn round and said'?) variety complete with hand gestures (and additional texting for verification of some disputed point).
I am not sexist and would still have taken umbrage if the three practitioners had been male - the point is I prefer to have a quiet journey where possible and keep very much to myself (as do many other on the train to be fair - it is usually far too early for idle conversation!) but this was not going to happen today.
Somebody should write a book on commuter etiquette to be issued when purchasing a season ticket and subject to regular testing by trained inspectors.
I take solace in the Delay and Repay form I shall be posting today - a small victory in the war against commuting!
Rant over but I still "Don't believeee it!!!"….;-)


The PS to this story is that I left the office at 16:00 GMT and finally stepped over the front doorstep at 18:35....


The five hours travelling time I have spent today would have sufficed to have gotten me to the Eastern end of the Mediterranean with sufficient time for a glass of Efes beer and a kebab.

16 comments:

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

David,

Welcome to the world of grumpy middle age! It is a world full of petty things that will get under your skin and annoy you ... and the excuse to have a good moan will always be around the corner.

All the best (and I hope that you have a better journey home!),

Bob

Paul of the Man Cave said...

To quote Captain Darling from "Black Adder"...
Wrote an entry in my diary this morning. Simply says: Bugger"

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

...and there in a nutshell is why I don't use public transport, I don't work in London, and don't even get me started on how people "behave" in cinema's...

Chris said...

What really bugs me are people who carry on a loud cell-phone conversation that the rest of us have to listen to. If it gets to the point that I start dreaming of crushing the person's cell phone, I lean over and loudly say "You'd better listen to him/her, as he/she really know what he/she is talking about!" The person will invariably say something like, "Do you mind? I'm having a private conversation!" To which I reply, "Then please conduct it privately."

Has worked fine so far.

Best regards,

Chris

Tim Gow said...

I understand that to be hip with the kids these days one has to have "turned round on Facebook and said..."

David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

Many thanks for the good wishes but the journey home was worse!

5 hours of my life wasted - and I did not even get a seat on the way home!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

An understatement if ever there was one!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

I hear and feel your anguish - that is another bete noir of mine, simply because I am of the generation that used to really enjoy going to the cinema!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Chris,

I did see someone take a pair of scissors to the earphone lead of an offending walkman many years ago (pre Ipod, an old cassette player). The entire carriage applauded!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

Thank you for correcting my obvious lack of street cred....;-)

...And dont get me started on my swagger...;-)

All the best,

DC

Peter Douglas said...

David

Whoa, like wicked rant dude!!! LOL

You've got the Meldrew bit down pat, with a touch of Reggie Perrin (train delays) thrown in for good measure.

You can also join about 3000 years of history complaining about how the younger generation communicate! In North America there would be a lot of "and I was like" instead of "I said".

Since you're safely on the other side of the pond I feel quite safe in saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my 15 minutes walk to work this morning.

Cheers

PD

David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

Now you mention it the conversation did contain a few 'like' references....;-)

I must confess to enjoying the 11 minute and 37 second walk to the station I have in the morning - and was even more relieved than usual to be doing the same this evening!

It is a great shame about the rest of the journey though....

I dont know about 'Getting there fustest with the mostest - more like(sic) slowest with the lestest....;-)

All the best,

DC

Paul´s Bods said...

One of the hundreds of reasons that made me decide that 5 hours would in fact get me to another country. To describe the railways in the UK as part of a transport system is nothing short of a cruel joke...I´m with Victor all the way :-D
Cheers
paul

Brigadier Dundas said...

In America, some of the transit systems allow you to pay an extra premium to ride in a "quiet' train/bus/subway section.
Perhaps British Rail (or whatever system you use) can be persuaded to try the same thing?

Glad you made it home in one piece.

Don

David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

I think that above all I resent the impact it has on my time - aside from the travel alone. It meant a frenzied day at work and effectively a written off evening as I was too worn out to attempt anything meaningful!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Don,

Some of our train companies have such a facility although my own does not! It is just the waste of time and the knock on effect that wears me down - and the sheer sense of frustration knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do about it!

All the best,

DC