what I saw on the way home...'s Journal|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 18 most recent journal entries recorded in
what I saw on the way home...'s LiveJournal:
[ << Previous 20 ]
[ << Previous 20 ]
|Saturday, November 7th, 2009|
|Saturday, January 3rd, 2009|
A while ago...
Seems to be a bit empty in here.
I was on the tube, though i'm not sure which line, on my way back to Victoria Station to go home after a night out with friends.
We pulled into a station, and people got on, as they do. One sat down next to me and promptly shoved a book under my nose, then pointed to a word. A hotel. At this point I notice the rest of the writing is in what I guessed to be Chinese. I look at this person and she looked at me as if to ask where the hotel was. I got very confused and shuffled away from her, and practically jumped off the train at the next stop (which was thankfully mine anyway).
Off to London tomorrow, so maybe i'll have another story to tell soon.
|Saturday, November 29th, 2008|
hello, tubestories. i like the look of you. let's put a bit of life back in the old girl, shall we? i'll kick off with my favourite, favourite thing i've ever overheard on the tube:
[one harried underground staff chap to another, surrounded by tourists and broken gates] wanted: bilingual octopus with the patience of job!
|Thursday, May 15th, 2008|
This morning, on the tube, doors are about to close, tube driver announces the destination:
'This train terminates at High Barnet via Bank, and this is MY train, not yours'
|Thursday, March 20th, 2008|
today on the tube:
I was travelling back home after work on the Northern Line, having caught a seat at London Bridge and was happily reading away, when we stopped at Balham. Suddenly I heard a commotion and someone on the floor - a woman screaming and panicking, another one quickly pulling the alarm - people craning their necks etc.
Until a woman loudly said: 'he's alright, he just fell asleep and fell off his seat'
Cue loud laughter and sniggering in the carriage and a very red faced young lad.
Didn't help that someone shouted down the platform that he fell asleep and fell off his seat lol
|Sunday, October 14th, 2007|
London's Dumbest Criminals.
Ok , someone started a rumour that Christmas was only 2 moths away, so the next thing you know is that Central London is heaving with shoppers - esp. Minto Central station where I work.
We also have England v. Estonia on up at Wembley - 3 pm kickoff. Big police presence in the booking hall, and revenue guys out in force too. the revenue guys know when there is likely to be good pickings , and a high stop rate means they can justify keeping their jobs next time there is talk of cutbacks..
You would think that this would mean that the criminal element would look at the gates and decide that , today, they would go and behave. But you don't know these dumbass criminals like we do. even so, even I was suprised at one guy who got pulled.
he is bumping the gate with his mate, and gets stopped. No ticket. gives revenue a false name, but Cops wander over, and yeah, they know this guy! Surprising, innit? so , how come you are traveling without paying , they ask. next thing is, they have him searched - turn out his poxckets and stuff and he is hauling 5 kilos of Class A drugs!
yeah, really. Now, if i was going to be chugging about with that on me , i think i would keep a low profile and not draw any attention to myself. Not this guy! Now I know how crap TV programmes and really stupid newspapers make sales. someone must be paying to see this stuff - when they are not dodging fares on drug delivery runs!
|Saturday, August 25th, 2007|
The fight against crime...
If anyone leaves a bag or a suitcase on the tube, there are plenty of people who will come up and tell me, when I'm on duty. and we don't mind that.
However, there are times when Joe and Joanne Public just drive us Tube workers up the wall. A chap recently trotted up and said "Quick - get the police!"
I whipped out my radio and said " right guv - what's the problem?"
"Just get them!" he said indignantly, "they can find out when they get here."
Oh, boy... Listen folks, it just doesn't work like that. Before they divert a cop car racing to the scene of a reported break in, they want to know where your call stands in the list of priorities. I will only get them to see me if they think it worth while, and this is what I told the bloke. "Nobody is coming running if I snap my fingers" I told him. "If you have spotted someone waving a gun about, they'll be over soon enough - but if it's just a bloke having a fag, they will expect the station supervisor to try to sort it first".
Well, it turns out that there was a pickpocket at work on the other platform.
"Right then" says I, "got a description, guv?"
"Go round there and you'll see him " says the man.
Fine , its a bloke. " Anything else you can tell me about him, sir?" I asks.
The bloke walks off in disgust. I radio base and say that a male pickpocket has been reported on the platform- no further details.
Now look - it isn't that I don't want to catch him, but this bloke will likely get on the first train or at least move along the minute he sees a uniform loom into view.
OTOH, if I relay a description to Control, they can scan the platform for the dip, call the cops and seal off every means of escape before the cops turn up. We do this sort of thing regular, see - we have it down to a fine art.
" We are sorry to announce a slight delay. Your train will be held a few moments due to a technical fault - normal service will be resumed as soon as poss".
Translation: - the cops are racing here to pick up a tea leaf. No trains are coming in or out the station till they have him in handcuffs. Sit tight and watch, and you might have a story to tell the kids at tea time when you get home."
I remember a guy coming up in the lift at one station, and the lift "broke down". When the doors opened, the cops grabbed the big guy in the black jacket after a tip off from a couple of tourists. Sadly, not everyone wants to play ball. Not everyone *can* divvy up useful info quickly and accurately. Contrary to popular belief, we can't arrest people. What we can do is watch people, gather evidence, and point them out to the cops when the law gets here - as well as isolate them and slow them down by shutting off escape routes.
But how do you find a needle in a haystack? Tell us - is it a bloke or a woman - what are they wearing?
The cameras on the platform are being monitored by the Control Room upstairs. We can scan and search - get them under observation and walk the coppers onto them - if we know who we are after.
But please - don't expect miracles. Help us help you. It might seem like a daft question, but I don't ask if there really is no need. The system works, just work the system.
Every year, we on the Underground reunite hundreds of lost kids with parents, we recover lost property and secure convictions against all kinds of low life - but we need your help. You are our eyes and ears, but we are the ones who have to persuade the police that it's worthwhile to come all that way. Just tell us what we need to know.
|Saturday, July 21st, 2007|
Yesterday, London and SE England got two months of rain falling in under 9 hrs.
I got into work at 10 am to find that the met office had issued a Severe Weather Warning. London , at least London Underground and London's Emergency services braced themselves for the worst.
It never started raining till 12, but my Station Supervisor had me prepare a notice board saying -
Due to adverse weather conditions, the following stations are closed - "
on it. this went to the middle of the booking hall, and I was told to stand by and add info as it came in.
at 12;15 we got out first call. "Tooting Broadway closed due to flooding ". This was closely followed by Tooting Bec and several more. we lost 14 stations in under 20 minutes. But as the torrential rain came lashing down , London fought back. fire brigades worked hand in hand with Underground emergency units to install pumps, clear the lines and keep the service running. trains could run on through closed stations as long as the track was clear, but if the water rose too high, it would come into contact with the high voltage rails, and this could cause severe damage, or even loss of life. in order to prevent this, the power was shut off in some sections. the district line went down in 3 places. At the peak, we had over 20 stations out of 250 out of action.
It was my job to keep the tally - who was currently closed and who was still open. messages were constantly coming in to Station control, but it was me who was keeping score and helping people to complete journeys using the map boards next to the Floodwatch board.
We even lost Victoria at one point. my station had huge machines deployed, half squeegee, half vacuum cleaner, that sucked up several gallons of water per second. Before the rain had stopped, some stations were back in action, yet we continued to lose others elsewhere, as far afield as Gants Hill and Wimbledon. By 13:00 hrs, the rain stopped as suddenly as it began, yet many outlying Stations were still out of action when I checked out at 1800 hrs.
It was the biggest thing to hit London since 7/7. I went off to lunch at 14:00, leaving another CCA in charge, and stepped out into brilliant sunshine. there seemed little distruption upstairs, but I learned that in some places, roads were flooded and mudslides had caused chaos on motorways.
|Tuesday, April 17th, 2007|
Just Dont Do It! Ok?!
I was on my way into the office this morning, sitting on the Tube, listening to 'Mika' on my ipod much the same as every other morning and couldn't help but notice a man sitting beside me, out of the corner of my eye picking his nose. That's right folks, he was wrist deep up a gold mine and the sight of it made me sigh, a deep resounding sigh because I couldn't believe I was witnessing a grown man in a nice pin-stripe suit and shiny new shoes picking is nose on the Tube yet again.
As I sat there watching his reflection in the window opposite me I was just waiting for it and I knew it was coming - I was willing him not to do it, chanting under my breath "Nooo, don't do it, don't, don't, don't! Just don't... pplleeeaasssee" but I was sadly optimistic and trying to fend off the inevitable. After contemplating his own snot for a good 10 seconds, rolling it around between his ring and index fingers, he sneakily brought his hand up to his mouth, almost in slow motion and ate it and I of course was left asking myself 'why' yet again?!
Why do grown adults, respectable looking adults eat their own boogers and why do I witness people partaking in this particularly disgusting activity at least once or twice a week. Are people not aware that statistically whatever opinion someone may have formed about a person that their opinion will decline by at least 97.6% after witnessing a nose-picking incident? Also, is it too much to ask that if you're going to do this that you do it in the privacy of your own home or even better, not at all?! Yes, I'm dismayed; I really am because I know that if someone is willing to eat their own boogers on the Tube in front of complete strangers that they're probably also comfortable with discarding the crunchy mucus nuggets on the Tube seats that I and the rest of the non-snot-collecting population have to sit on. 'Not happy Jan!'
|Saturday, April 7th, 2007|
Could this be the best thing I've ever seen on the London Underground Network? I think so. It moved and everything.
|Friday, March 23rd, 2007|
Big Girls Don't Cry
So I was on the Tube last night at about 9.20pm on my way to Manor House on the Piccadilly Line when I witnessed a tantrum to end all tantrums; I've never, in all my day's seen anything like it!
I was sitting on the Tube minding my own business as usual, lost in my copy of the 'London Paper' when a mother and her 4 year old daughter boarded the train at Piccadilly Circus and that's when it began.
Upon the train pulling into the station an overtired, grubby and fowl mooded child was literally dragged by one arm, kicking and screaming onto the train by her casual and relaxed mother. After finding a spare seat and sitting down, this petulant child threw herself onto the carriage floor writhing, kicking and screaming in that high pitched fashion that only a child skilled at throwing extreme tantrums can as her mother sat there and laughed to everyone's surprise.
I swear this child was demonic, grabbing at passengers ankles, thrashing about like someone had thrown a full bottle of holly water over her... and the screaming, oh god the screaming; at least half of the packed Tube carriage had their hands over their ears for fear of sustaining a permanent injury, it was actually that severe. Granted her undeterred mother did try and pick her up off of the floor on a few occasions, the child turning to putty in her hands and slinking through her fingers determined to get some sort of reaction from her mother and everyone looking on.
I think it occurred to a few of the smarter passengers to jump off and change carriage a few minutes into the perpetual journey of doom, it did actually occur to me to follow these smart few into the ajoining carriage however, by the time I put my coat back on over my 'slingged up' arm, put my paper away, threw my bag over my shoulder... well, it just seemed like too much hassle - that and the fact that the little fucker's hand was firmly grasped around my ankle.
It eventually all came to and end when her mother picked her up and dragged her off the train at Kings Cross St Pancras screaming and bellowing as she went and as the doors closed behind her, the Tube started making it's way down the tracks and her screams faded off into the distance the packed Tube carriage burst into fits of laughter, thankful and relieved that she didn't belong to any of us.
So a note to mothers on the Tube, in future PLEASE control your children or leave them at home with a baby-sitter who will!
|Thursday, March 22nd, 2007|
Maybe you have seen this already, maybe not. Take a look anyway, so we can all be on the same page.http://solo2.abac.com/themole/london_underground_song.htm
While I think that it's a very clever song parody, I do think it contains some glaring inaccuracies. Not every on the Tube is a train driver on 30K for a start. Take it from me, there are 3 Unions on the Underground. The RMT, TSSA, and ASLEF. Now, if the Train drivers call a strike, the station staff will turn up to do their job- but there are no trains coming through the stations, so we effectively stand on the gates and hand out bus maps, and have people come up and moan at us because *we* are on strike.
Do some thinking, chaps - if someone is wearing a uniform and standing on LUL premises, they are most likely working, doing what they can to keep London on the move. So don't give them any grief, please. They caught a bus, just like you. Unlike you, they are gonna be there all day getting flak that * they* don't deserve. Before you go criticising LUL, do some research and get the story straight.
as I said in a previous post, I can get in trouble for legal reasons if I say too much, or say the wrong thing to the newspapers. this blog is not officially recognised by LUL, and i don't have my bosses permission to be here. however, i will attempt to tell it like it is...
People criticise the RMT for being willing to go on strike at the drop of a hat. I will have the RMT lawyers all over me like a cheap suit if I say anything, but I will say this. I will defend my company, and my colleagues against any criticism that I deem unfair. If I am not defending someone or something, and simply say ' no comment', I invite the more intelligent reader here to draw their own conclusions.
The song also makes the claim that we are basically morons who are on a job that a four year old could do. A weekend course is all you need, where they tell you how to shout ' mind the doors!'. yeah , right...
when I got started, it was four weeks at Ashfield House. you sat in class and listened to lectures on health and safety stuff, legal stuff, customer care and ticket stuff, and then spent *another* 4 weeks on station as a trainee, practicing your skills under supervision. *Then*, and only then, did you get given a job.
let me take you into a situation that does happen, loads of times. you are stood on your platform, you shout ' Mind the doors!' and a train goes off. As the next one comes in, you tell people to stand back, but suddenly, there is a scream. Someone has fallen off the platform and is now under the train. did they fall or were they pushed? Does not matter. *You* are in charge here until a supervisor, or a rescue team shows up. you have a train operator who is traumatised, you have somebody screaming in pain , still alive under a train , and a crowd of people who are shouting and screaming at you to do something - think *you* could cope?
What I just described was a "One Under". It happens so often that LUL has a word for it. In my job, I have never had a 'one under 'yet. I hope I never do, but i have had to deal with a pickpocket, a fight between two gangs on a train , got to the scene of a medical emergency, and was sent to go look for a bomb, following a phone call that one had ben found on the station. yeah - I found the bomb alright. You really think a four year old could do my job? Something like 3 in 4 of the candidates do not get through the selection course. and every year, you sit an exam to make sure you still know what they told you in training. Imagine sitting your driving test every year. this is what every LUL station employee does to hold a Station Licence.
I think maybe next time, I will tell you about my time on training - there were laughs, and drama, even then.
From there I worked in many stations in Central London, before winding up where I am today. I will tell you about some of the funny and scary stuff i have had to do. when you read a story about us in the Evening Standard, or hear a funny song, remember that these things are usually written by someone who never had to wear the uniform , just for a day, and I am somebody who did the training and wore the uniform proudly for a few years. Mind the gap, folks.
|Wednesday, March 21st, 2007|
Do you work here?
Ok, maybe you have been there yourself...
You are sitting on a platform, waiting for a train, and the tannoy goes off and says "Due to a signal failure at Somewhere, there are severe delays on the District line..." Yeah, me too. I work on the Tube myself, and no - I don't earn enough to come in and park my Beemer in the company car park. I take the tube like everyone else, and get all the inconvenience and hassle whenever the service breaks down. The only difference is that my fellow passengers somehow expect me to fix things.
So let me tell you a bit about the Tube and how it works.( Read more...Collapse )
Hi - I travel on the Tube to get to work. however, when I get there, I am still 'on the tube'. I actually work for London Underground Ltd, and you wouldn't believe
get to see on the Tube imn an ordinary working day.
Most people working on LUL do not drive trains. behind the drivers is a huge team of technicians and management, and there is also a huge operation on the stations . I am working on one of those stations in the heart of London.
Three million people use the tube each day, and although it takes all sorts to make a world, it seems that all the nutters come out when I am on duty!
It's not that every passenger who comes into the system causes problems, in fact I have met some amazing people who really make my job worth while. I will be posting here from time to time with an insiders view on things, and i look forwards to hearing from fellow passengers too.
|Tuesday, February 27th, 2007|
Observations On Life In London
On a brief note, I'm getting completely fed up of watching people on the Piccadilly Line in the morning eating their own snot, ear wax and anything else they manage to pick off their face! In future have breakfast before you leave the house and save all the rest of us commuters from bringing up ours! Filthy!
|Monday, January 22nd, 2007|
tube driver fails at political correctness.
On Friday I took a Victoria Line train to meet friends at the station of the same name.
In my carriage there were two Irish blokes. One of them seemed to be the more lucid. The other was large, loud, and foulmouthed, and punched the first one.
At Green Park, he blocked the aisle and refused to let passengers move down. After his companion shouted at him, he screamed "FUCK OFF YOU WANKER" and stormed into the next carriage. At this point, the tube station workers were nervously gathering on the platform, and the driver made the following announcement:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry for the delay. There is a lunatic on the train, but once we get him off, we'll be on with our journey."
I later saw the aforementioned lunatic wandering around Victoria Station looking for someone to shout at.
|Saturday, December 23rd, 2006|
tube driver of the Northern Line, whilst we were waiting for the trains to clear at Morden station so we can enter Morden station:
'When we will finally arrive at Morden station this driver will have 3 days of vacation, which will be spent with his family and child, eating lots of mince pies. Wish you all a happy Christmas!'
put a big smile on my face ;)
|Wednesday, December 6th, 2006|
It may be on no interest...but...
Have recently out up a ton more posts on my <lj user='tubewhore'> project to collect all the Underground Stations. Now only have 225 to go...
Plus I'm in town from the 14th to the 19th of December and would love to hit a few more stations for the utterly pointless and complusive reason that I simply can muck about all day hopping on and off trains. Is there anyone out there that can join me, and possible point the camera?