Friday, November 16, 2007

Stand behind the yellow line

I forgot to take my glasses into work yesterday and so had to do things at a bit of a distance. This included to moving my computer monitor a very long way away, which looked very odd to any casual passers by, but it got the job done and I managed to lave work without a massive headache. I will be taking a spare pair of glasses in to work today...

On the way home last night I had the most irritating tube driver ever. Ever. Ever. As we departed one station he said:

“Can I remind passengers not to lean on the doors. The doors are not solid objects and must not be leant against. I repeat that the doors are not solid objects and must not be leant against. If you are touching the doors or have a bag or any other item in contact with the door then please move. I repeat they are not solid objects and they will move if you come into contact with them. They could move and cause you an injury and are dangerous. Move away form the doors.”

He then went silent, which gave me time to ponder if my rudimentary understanding of physics was entirely wrong and that I had no idea what the word “solid” actually means. It appears he had only paused for breath though and as we were drawing alongside the platform at the next station he started again…

I am sorry I had to blow the whistle just then [I was totally confused by this comment, and wondered if he had just been reporting someone, but as it turned out he meant he had just blown the train whistle]. As we approached the platform a young woman in a white coat was standing on the *white* line at the edge of the platform. I therefore had to blow the whistle as I came within inches of hitting her. Do not stand on the white line, make sure that you stand behind the *yellow* line.”

At this point passengers started to get on the train. The driver continued.

“For the benefit of the passengers now boarding I will repeat the message again. Do not stand on the *white line* at the front of the platform. It is very dangerous. Stand away from the platform edge. The young woman in the white coat who got on the rear carriage could have been hit by the train had I not blown the whistle."

The doors to the train then closed. He continued.

“This message is directed primarily at the young woman in the white coat who boarded the rear carriage. You came within inches of being hit by a train. 350 people a year are injured using the tube. This is not the fault of London Underground but is down to the behaviour of passengers. If you get hit by a train you will be seriously injured. I am sure that you don’t want that and nor does anyone else want to be hit by a train. I don’t want to hit someone with a train either because I can tell you that it is not very pleasant. This is a 200 tonne train and it will cause a lot of damage if it hits someone and therefore you should stand away from the platform edge. Make sure you stand behind the yellow line in future.”

He then remained silent for the rest of the journey. I know it must get lonely in the driver’s cab sometimes, but was it really necessary to go on that much and in such a personal way. Everyone in my carriage, which was not the rear carriage, just looked at each other incredulous that the driver just kept going on and on, and was also deliberately targeting one passenger. This is why *no-one* should ever speak on London Underground.

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