Clueless in London

Why is it that when the slightest things goes wrong with the signals or other lame excuse (usually at London Bridge) passengers (with the exception of me) and Bob Crows army run around like chickens with their head cut off having no clue what is happening.

Last week your truly bowls up to see a MASS of people staring skyward (no not at some apparition of the second coming) but at blank timetables and listening to garbled messages informing the masses that Gordon Brown is the second coming (no that’s not it I meant what we are supposed to do where we should go to catch a train).

Now I can be a little forthright (now you probably mean your arrogant, rude, impatient, irritable self we all know and love ed.) but I know where the train usually stops so in my true welsh rugby star way jinked through the crowds (as we should have done this weekend in Auckland) past the prop forward that was this immense lady jammed in the automatic gates to my train and jumped on. I must say there were a few ‘excuse ME’s’ and ‘how rudes’ on the way but sorry you have got to get on the bloody train. So there I was listening to the announcements: ‘the twain at platfoam one is the 17** to graveyard calling at ??????, ?????’. Crap am I on the right train? – now to cut a long story short I wasn’t – so off to platform three as it happens through the mass of humanity coming the other way – ask a guard on the way was this a train to East Croydon – no idea guv – (maybe if I’d asked what the fundamental theory of algebra was I might have had more success) – and jumped on with fifty or so other sweaty passengers on another train – yes the wrong one again – so we all piled off to the next platform for the right one.

Of course dear reader by the time I got to East Croydon I had missed two connections to sunny Lingfield and had to wait for a while for Southern to take me away from all this. Now why is it when a small engineering fault happens, no one knows what’s happening, the staff haven’t a clue, the commuters (me excepted) stand around like cattle with foot and mouth waiting to be chopped, no feedback or info available, and no prospect of the second coming to cap it off either (eh!! Ed.)

When are we going to get organised in this country!!

Christmas Spirit alive and well in East Grinstead

It’s that time of year again when itinerant panhandlers (i.e. carol singers) appear on my door-step attempting to sing a few strangled verses of some long forgotten carol before being sent away with a flea in their ear and a recommendation for a few singing lessons by yours truly. Last year some group of lads came around and made a vague attempt at Silent Night (oh I wish it was when they started). Now it happened they started up just as the Tele was playing up, her in doors was having a moan about my lack of Christmas spirit and that mutt of a sheepdog of mine was attempting to bark the bloody house down whilst attempting to get at said carols singers.

Actually in hindsight it may have been better to let her out … anyhoo in amongst all this cacophony I answered the door just as the second line … holy night … was tailing off into oblivion and a hopeful carol singer put out his hand for what I assumed was some act of supplication. WE DON’T DO THAT HERE CLEAR OFF I said (now RoyMogg readers may wish to know that this in fact is an entirely accurate description of events that occurred that fateful night ed.) and closed the door and turned around and saw my stunned wife and daughter telling me I cannot say that, lack of Christmas spirit etc etc. To my astonishment they run after these erstwhile vagrants apologising … ‘he’s a little tired, worked long hours, miserable git’ and so forth… giving them money for their efforts and wishing them merry Christmas and all that. Shocked I was – I thought I was being very reasonable but ho hum I guess it takes all sorts

In the Christmas spirit an alternative carol:

Good King Wencelas last looked out
On the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Though the frost was cruel,
and When a poor man came in sight,
Wencelas set the dogs on him …

Merry Christmas to RoyMogg Readers

Meet the Southern Rail Managers

Big Cat Diaries goes to London Bridge

I was in the first class cabin of yer Southern Rail for the daily commute idly glancing through an article ref David Attenbore and his long career of wildlife programming when over the Tannoy our Guard pipes up – “Ladies and Gentlemen I thought I would let you know that today is ‘meet the managers day’ hoorah! and starting at 0730 at London Bridge Southern Rail have arranged some victims to talk to you about your experiences with the service”. “If you have any difficulty with finding them just ask one of the station staff (AKA Bob Crows Army) and we will point them out for you – however they should be easy to spot as they will be the guys quaking in their boots somewhere close to the front of the station – enjoy!!”.

It was with a feral glint in the eye that we got off the train and as a mass trooped off to see who these half wits were. It was then we spotted the herd of Southern Managers the young and inexperienced in the centre safely surrounded by wizened old gits veterans of countless fob offs and excuses hiding just behind the ticket barrier close to the relative safety of the coffee shop. Prowling closely by the predatory commuters look for their chance to cut out one of the youngsters and give him a right rollicking. One of the younger sub-managers paws nervously at the ground looking down and glances around for the escape route wondering why he’s here and thinking that if he had revised more studiously for the McDonald’s degree in Burgerology (BBu(Hons)) he would be safely inside worrying about colony forming units of bacteria and not here facing this angry mob. Ah look a diversionary move by one of the older females ‘can you tell me which platform is for Victoria’ – oh over there platform 13 Luv responds the Alpha Manager. Too late he spots his error and two predators move quickly in and split up the herd isolating one of the newer managers who immediately cut off from the safety of the herd is pounced upon by a gaggle of ferocious wildcats. One cannot but admire the team working of this experienced pack – from an early time in the management training school of yer Southern Rail junior managers are able to divert complaints and back peddle at a rate of knots, but under the relentless pursuit of this angry crowd he is quickly worn down and soon becomes an exhausted sniveling wreck. One particularly stern lady caught my eye, and caught the guy she was laying into by the ***** as she gave him a right dressing down about over-crowding especially when he asked her to ‘calm down madam’ – which I always think is a marvelous way to up the temperature (needs to revise his ‘Handbook for Conflict Management on Southern Rail’ (10th Edition) notes) and drew the response ‘what do you mean calm down you little oik’ – ‘ I’ll have your b***s on a stick’ you talk to me like that!

She walked off obviously set-up for the day and cheerily responded to a request to take a sample of a chunky chocolate bar as a free gift on the station concourse – ‘No thank you’, she said, ‘I’ve had my quota of protein for today!’