Find a penny, pick it up and all day long..........you have a penny!
I know, I know, I am far too cynical, but you would be too if you had to use the train to commute to and from work every day. Five days of anticipation, not knowing if the the wrong kind of weather is likely to jeopardise you getting to work or if the train will be late because they just cannot be bothered to arrive on time. Admittedly that is not an excuse that you usually hear announced by the various voices that represent South West Trains over the ultra efficient tannoy system. I say ultra efficient but, as they only make announcements as the fast train thunders through the station like a deranged beast, it is hard to tell.
I do think the most annoying, and probably most unintelligent announcement they make is “delayed due to awaiting a train crew at Portsmouth”. That is the tannoy announcement which is guaranteed to make the passengers blood boil. They may as well say “You will all be late for work today because Mr. Lay Zee Sod of Portsmouth cannot get his act together and arrive at work on time”. The train company management team do not seem to appreciate that this is not a good way to impress a crowd of tired, overworked people whom, quite frankly, are precariously near live rails, slippery steps, hot oil slick coffee and various other items they carry with them. (Don’t get me started on that subject) If a murder was to take place at a station would anyone be surprised? Would anyone be blamed? To be honest, would anyone care?
As for telling me how many coaches there are......... I seriously don’t care! There is no reason I wish to know this. If you have to be at a certain place in the train then you ask the leg dragging, dribbling, overweight, put upon man wandering on the platform wearing his snazzy SWT uniform and hoping his day ends quickly. You may get the correct information but he will try his best with the total lack of resources at his disposal.
Cancelling trains is probably the most frustrating thing that SWT can do. It is never a good time to cancel a train but seven am when I need to get to work is most definitely the wrong time. This week we had a seven am battle to get on a train which goes to the next town which is, incidentally, seven miles away. So the signals had stopped working again and no one knew what to do about it, when they will be working again or how hundreds of commuters, who rely on the trains to get to work, will actually arrive at their destinations. I presume that SWT do not think the passengers travel with them because they want to, they travel with them because they have to or because it the lesser of several evils.
Firstly the brain boxes at Woking station decided to lay on ONE taxi that takes five passengers. With the heavy traffic in Guildford and the usual gridlock situation that occurs there, this would take more hours than I care to calculate just to get a fraction of the people to work. The next announcement was that a train had pulled in on platform two and the Guildford line had re-opened. A huge amount of people then surged up the stairs and over to platform two like a herd of wildebeest fleeing from a pack of hungry lions. After a ten minute wait on the train we were then informed that we had been misinformed in regard to the train and had to disembark and make our way back to platform five for our possible transport to work. The herd were up and running again in the vague hope that they may actually find a seat on a train that was truly planning on going to their chosen or necessary destination.
The aforementioned scenario is a normal part of train travel and everyday life and I should be used to it; however, I will still complain about it, I will still joke about it and I will still write about it.