Saturday, 14 February 2015

Commuting - the seventh circle of hell


I'm a reasonable person. Well, most of the time. But if there is one thing that's going to induce serious violence within me, it's commuting. Yes, Waterloo & City Line, I'm looking at you. Second only to South West Trains. The closure of London Bridge has provided the final straw. That we choose to pay thousands (yes, really, thousands) of pounds for the privilege of standing throughout an entire 60 minute journey, most usually in closer proximity to total strangers than I often am with my own husband, is entirely incomprehensible. And yet, every weekday, there I am. Ready to do it all over again. 

The French wouldn't put up with this.

What in particular annoys me so much? Let me tell you.

1. Parking.
Before you even get to the lovely train station, I have to battle with the parking. Not find a space - oh, no. They've got that totally nailed. Any opportunity to make an extra few quid. No - it's the method of payment. Via an app. Naturally. 'Simple, quick and easy' they claim. What a load of old rubbish. The app constantly crashes. It remembers the wrong car details. It remembers the wrong car park. It remembers the wrong payment details. In fact, if it remembered anything at all correctly, I'd die of shock. I've paid for whole sessions in completely the wrong place, only to be welcomed back to my car with a ticket. I've argued with so many tickets since Christmas, I'm practically on first name terms with the parking enforcement team in Elmbridge. 

2. Completely oblivious commuters. 
You know the type. They step onto the train as if it's some magical new world they have entered and need to stop and stare in complete awe. The desire to shove these people extremely hard in the back and knock them back into some sense of the real world is almost overwhelming. It's just a train, people. Move along. And do it quickly.

3. Really loud music. 
Yes, your beats headphones are cool. But do you have to play your music so loud I can heard it too? It sounds like a din. And who knows what damage you're doing to your ear drums. And if it's in a 'Quiet carriage' - well, they started it...

4. People who think they are still on the train when, in fact, they are not
When did it become okay to walk along the platform still reading your kindle or your phone? Put your phone away and walk properly, with purpose, like the rest of us. Or, stay on the train and keep reading your book, if it's so good. Just don't randomly walk along like you have all the time in the world, getting in my way. With any luck, some of these people will be so preoccupied, they'll walk straight off the platform and onto the track*. 

5. People who are shocked they need to produce their ticket to get out of the station
What is WRONG with you? Have you never travelled on a train before? Did the queue of people waiting to exit not give it away? What do you think they are doing? Why then, do you not find your ticket before you get to the gate? Tourists, fair enough. You can't be expected to know these things. But commuters who do this everyday? Sort yourselves out. We all have places to get to. 

Usually late, because the commute has been delayed. 

*Please note: I don't really want people to end up hurt, I just want them to focus on where they are going

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