As many of you know, I have the joy of a 1.5 hour commute each way every day! Some days the journey goes smoothly, but today wasn’t one of them!
Our usual train is always very busy. Its 4 carriages and starts in London! By the time it has reached my station it is standing room only!
After doing the journey for over 6 years, you do start to learn tricks to get a seat! The best one is to locate very quickly someone with a lot of bags! With a bit of luck, they may be going to the airport which is the next stop! You position yourself near them, in the hope to grab their seats when they get off!
Sadly, if they don’t it is very disappointing!
The other one is to know who gets off at what stop! If you again can get near them, you can but hope to have their seat when their stop comes up! Boom!
It is all fun and games, but hey, this is public transport! Each man or women for themselves!
As I said, today was one of those days when the train service was not working in our favour!
First of all, our usual train was extremely delayed. This meant that the next train after it was going to arrive before ours! When our usual train would arrive, it was now only going 1 stop before it was terminating. So for us, there was no alternative, we would have to get onto the later train which was arriving next.
Now, it would be helpful if I mention again that our train is usually 4 carriages! The later train is 8! Thankfully, Fridays are usually quieter, but we know that now there are going to be 12 carriages of people, trying to get onto 8 carriages. My expectations are that it is going to be a busy commute in!
We are all there on the platform, in our usual spots! Oh yes, us commuters are creatures of habit! We all have our little spots on the platform. We all head for the same carriages every day!
As the next train expected is 8 carriages, we are spread out more on the platform that we would be for our usual train. I don’t know the people on the platform down the very end. We have usually gone before they arrive!
The train starts to pull into the station. We all move forward in anticipation of being by the doors when it stops! You can’t help look through the windows to see how crowded it is, or in hope of a spare seat! Then it dawns on us all! It is only 4 carriages!
The people down the other end of the platform now have to move very quickly to the train. It’s already full we can see that! The doors open! It is full right to the doors! Now we have a problem. We know there is no next train, we have to be at work, but the train is full!
There is only 1 thing for it! You squeeze on!! There is nothing like feeling like a sardine! Thankfully we do get on but it is very cosy!
The fun really starts when we get to the next few stations. More people trying to get on is fun enough, but when someone needs to get off, it is even more hilarious!
On days like this you notice there are 3 types of commuters!
1) The ones who have a seat, head down, pretending they don’t know how busy it is!
2) The grumpy ones, who obviously got out of bed the wrong side and are not happy that you are standing so close to them! I mean, it isn’t as if we have a choice!
3) The ones that just take it in its stride and have a laugh with fellow passengers!
I’m pleased to say I am number 3. Lets be honest, we are all in the same boat! Not one of us caused this problem. The blame for that lies with the train company! What is the point in being miserable about it! The journey will be much more pleasant if we accept if for what it is!
I know that there will be more days like today! Ultimately, I got to work. Maybe a bit late, and probably knowing more about some of the commuters private life than I expected, but I’m safe and well!
So next time you have one of these days, look at the positives, you will start your day in a much better frame of mind if you do!
Happy Friday everyone.