Letters to those unlikely to respond… #1

A Mother’s Day trip to Bristol today proved an interesting day all round – a great time for connecting with family, but a horrid day for transport and interactions with other people.

On the way home this evening we boarded our return coach, only to find that it was rammed, stinking of a vile combination of curry and the general bodily odour of a busy day’s human activity – whatever that may have been.

Finally we suffered the aural assault of the London Underground, as I think you’ll see below:

“Dear London Underground:

Please stop with the constant inane, overwhelming and soul-destroying chatter that you so regularly spout from your Public Address systems.  Please understand the following:

  1. If I see something suspicious or threatening, it will be reported.  I do not need to be reminded to do so at every opportunity.
  2. When I have luggage about my person, I do not intend to leave it behind anywhere except at my home when you eventually let me get there.
  3. I do not need to be reminded to stay behind the yellow line at all times.  The sheer height of the drop from the platform to the tracks, and the fact that I know of the electrified rails keeps me far enough away from the edge all by itself, thank you very much.
  4. Your repeated robotic pleas do not make me want to be any more considerate to the passengers who wish to get off the train than I already am.  My manners and attitude, things you have no control over except to worsen, will help here.  If I stand in the way of those in a hurry to alight, I deserve everything I get from them, short of physical force.  See Point number 1 for more on this.
  5. I know about the gap – it’s scary and it eats the unwary.  It does not need minding – it exists quite happily by itself.  I will avoid it where I see it.  Please just light the area properly or close the gap.  It’s not that hard.  I will warn others of the gaps if I see them.
  6. Announcements of a “good service operating on all London Underground lines” should not be necessary.  I mean really – are you celebrating getting through a period when you can say that?  Why?  We pay you for that good service.  Please just tell us if there are problems, or tell us nothing.
  7. TURN IT DOWN!  The volume, frequency of announcements, the tinny/distorted/painful speakers, and the inane content of each message is making me switch off my brain to all aural stimulation while using your services.
  8. TURN IT DOWN! (2)  If you need to announce everything at top volume, you’re doing it wrong.  Cut the background noise, fix your PA systems, train those who make announcements in correct speech and microphone announcements, and run the service properly.
  9. Learn to talk properly!  If I have a speech impediment or a particularly strong accent, I’m not going to make a great radio DJ unless I can learn to make myself understood properly.  So nobody will employ me.  Please stop making those who can neither speak nor properly understand English make announcements.  They’ll just get ignored or ridiculed, and you’ll still be wondering why we are all so frustrated.

Your prompt action to attend to these matters is desired but not expected.


Frustrated of London.”

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