Kipling's Cat (mintogrubb) wrote in tubestories,
Kipling's Cat
mintogrubb
tubestories

Going Underground...

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.
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  • 2 comments
March 2004 was a particularly bad time for one-unders. there was an average one a week that month. unfortunately i have witnessed one - as a passenger rather than employee. someone jumped at Harrow on the Hill at around 7:45am. what got me was all the rubberneckers straining to get a look. why would you want to see that?

i don't know what happens to people when they get on trains but suddenly they turn into cattle and start mooing at everyone. they don't use their brains. as you just said - people in a uniform at a station is hardly sitting at home on strike.

but then there's the flipside. some people love the hate the underground. they moan about it because they wouldn't want it any other way. its something to talk about over coffee in the office "oh the goddamn northern line was up the spout AGAIN". if it were to all run smoothly it would be boring, and songs like the one you highlighted wouldn't be written.

for myself, the jubilee caused me to miss the Eurostar to Paris last week. and my friend and i then got upgraded for free to the quicker one. so i say let it be late.
Yes! Lateness in certain circumstances is assez hereuse ...x