Oh the joys of the London Underground. When it is working properly and not overcrowded it consists of people with a plethora of annoying habits. These people tend to have no consideration for anyone but themselves.
Not only are there commuters who refuse to give up seats for those more needy, there are also those who sneeze without putting their hand in front of their mouth and make a right mess (if you catch my drift) and others who cough in people’s faces.
The words “Move right down inside the carriage” recited by station announcers when doors open on incoming trains are ignored nine times out of 10 by commuters. All too often there are scores of people trying to get on trains but having to admit defeat because they think they are too busy. On some occasions carriages are actually completely packed but most of the time people simply refuse to use available space which stops other commuters from getting on.
Even if you are lucky enough to get on a train at the first time of asking you are often delayed by people standing against the doors. When this happens the train will attempt to pull away from the station, move forward a little, jolt and come to a halt. An announcement from the driver tends to follow warning passengers to refrain from obstructing the doors. One would think one warning would be enough, but unfortunately this is rarely the case and those wanting to get home are held back by a few idiots. The worst is when the train suddenly jolts and comes to a halt mid-journey. I don’t know which is more fun― the beginning or end of the journey.
There are those who have bad habits and do not mean to offend anyone, but there are others who simply could not care less. Do I really need to hear every word of the songs people are listening to on their headsets, for example, first thing in the morning or at the end of the day? All it takes is to keep the volume at a reasonable level. Is that too much to ask?
Carelessness is another common characteristic of many commuters travelling on the underground. The other day I was coming to the end of yet another wonderfully entertaining journey when I spotted this well-built man enter my carriage. The seat next to me was vacant and as he tried to sit down he just fell on top of me to the amazement of the other travellers. The question is why did he fall? Was it tiredness, a lack of concentration, or his loud music which caused him to lose his bearings? The latter was the reason I am afraid.
The London Underground is often frequented by large numbers of tourists. Almost all of the time, unless they are speaking Spanish, I cannot understand what they are saying. But if I had a pound for the amount of conversations which are slating our underground system I would surely be a very rich man.
So where do we go from here? The answer is who knows? Unfortunately each Sunday night I not only find myself looking ahead to another long week of work but also find myself contemplating another 20 journeys on the London Underground.
No one is perfect not even myself, but if people can be a little more considerate and think of others before themselves, then surely we can make the best of a concept which most people love to hate.