The London Underground = Stress Central!
Some people love the hustle and bustle of London, with it’s glitzy glamour, shopping extravaganzas and touristy goodness. I on the other hand can’t stand the place!
What some people describe as ‘action packed’ I describe as ‘concrete hell’.
But the one thing that really stresses me out about having to visit the capital is the tube.
I will concede now that the tube has indeed brought us some rather wonderful things – however in my kind these are limited to an artistic medium. It is filled with the music of talented buskers and the service posters are Apple-esque in their simplistic charm, and it did indeed spawn what has been voted one of the best ‘inventions’ of the 20th century – the now iconic tube map, a feat of design genius which condensed a heap of overwhelming, crisscross crossing lines and station names into an easily read format.
These positives notes are overshadowed by an ever growing list of negatives though, minute as some are they are heavily backed by some fairly large observations.
My first and most irritating being the fact that the tube hardly ever works!
Let’s face it – if it rains too much the tube stops. If it snows the tube stops. If it’s too hot the tube stops.
It seems to me that the optimum and actual working conditions of the tube seem to have failed to be based upon the British climate! What’s the point in investing billions of pounds of my tax money into something that only works some of the time?!
Secondly, what’s the deal with tube strikes?! It appears that strike action affects the tube for an absurdly high percentage of time! I’m all for having the right to strike, but tube staff seem to be taking the p*ss…if you don’t like your job that much go find a new one, and at least be considerate enough not to mess up other peoples days because of the fact you’d rather just strike!
My final gripe with the tube is also something that really gets me on edge about London in general, something which I feel may stem from the Everyday Londoners heavy use and reliance on such an unpredictable service.
The tube seems to provoke the worse in human interaction.
Or more to the point, the lack of.
When using the tube it seems every ounce of decency and co existence is left at the ticket turnstiles. That is the point where courtesy and patience go out of the window and everyone is reduced to basic personal survival instincts!
Pushing becomes the basic communication tool of choice. No please, no thank you, a simple shove takes their place.
And once you’ve been wedged amongst the sweaty business men and women in their generic suits and basic issue copies of the Times you’re left with nothing but silence.
Silence and blank face.
A lovely way to start the day!
And what’s with all the rushing?
Chill out guys, you’ll get their in the end! No wonder you all look so freaking miserable and stressed!
…surely you are clever enough to work out that is you’re rushing then maybe you should leave for work slightly earlier in the future?!
So next time you’re on the tube try and smile, make some friendly banter, give up your seat for someone. Just do something that goes against your tubular instincts and remember you’re a human being…just like everyone around you!