The Commute: The Rant
By Mike Street
I’ve been commuting for nearly a year now. Proper commuting that is. Getting up at some unearthly hour to sit on a train for a bit. Living in a completely different county to where I work.
When I started, I used to get to the station with a smile on my face, look around at all the glum expressions and wonder what is getting them down. For about 4/5 months I stayed with this naïve, fresh-faced view of the world. I was happy to be getting an hour and half to myself a day, pretty much cut off from the Internet (as the 3G signal in the Croydon to Brighton line is terrible). I’ve read many a magazine and book on the year of my commute and I’m glad I did it.
However, the tides turned when I got upgraded as a commuter. Where the standard walking commuter is your beat cop or the foot soldier, I became one of the interceptors, the traffic cops or a bomb disposal team.
You see I became an owner of a fold-up bike. Not one of those incy-wincy Brompton, but a respectable Dahon. Having a bike on the daily commute allows you to see what idiots people can be. How eager everyone is to get everywhere. What a rush everyone is in. Below I have outline 3 things that annoy me about the commute and the things that have turned me into a glum expressioned commuter.
First off – the barriers. People. Ordinary walking people with no suitcases or bikes or any irregular props insist on queuing up to go through the gate, when there are perfectly working barriers next to them. This infuriates me because I have a bike so I need to go through the gate. People push in front, huff and puff and take twice as long going through the gate then they would going through the barriers.
Secondly – the doors. If you are waiting to get on a train, please leave room for those wanting to get off first. The train won’t leave if there are people standing waiting to get on, so there is no rush. Just yesterday 4 people jumped on the train before I had squeezed out with my bike. Just calm down!
Thirdly – the seats. This is another pet peeve. People who put bags on seats and then huff and puff and moan and tut when you ask to sit there. Some people are very nice and friendly about it, but others are not. If you wish to put your bag on a seat then pay for another bloody ticket!
I think that is all that annoys me. Luckily I shall be cycling all the way to work next month, so I can get annoyed at car drivers instead.
Anything I’ve missed?