I’ve noticed in the last week or so that it has been much lighter in the mornings. This is good in the sense that its nice to not feel nocturnal but it has a downside. I like to call this downside the amateur commuter. At some points in the summer, amateur commuters make the 7.30 to Waverley look like this:
Amateur commuters are those who only take the train every now and again. If they have to take the train, they’ll only do so when the weather is good. The day before, they’ll have described their trip to their colleagues as either being “a nice change” or “a pain in the neck”. I much prefer the latter category. I suppose, therefore, that my wrath is restricted only to those amateurs who look forward to the experience.
They can be identified by any/all of the following signs:
- They’ll be standing looking at the departures board in the station (if you get the train every day you know exactly where you’re going);
- They’ll be holding a ticket for which they will be reimbursed;
- They will have a bucket of Starbucks and a muffin/some other sweet confection (if you do it every day you can’t afford those luxuries);
- They will have a pal with them (the worst kind of amateur commuter);
- They’ll spend ages working out where they want to sit;
- They will put their gear (of which there will be a tonne) on the seat next to them;
- They’ll phone someone to confirm that they have “finally made it on the train and have found a seat” (the third worst kind of amateur commuter);
- They’ll be awake during the journey;
- They’ll have terrible, leaky, earphones (the second worst kind of amateur commuter); and
- They’ll be on their feet and heading for the doors 5 minutes before anyone else.
These folk stand out a mile and this is because, in any particular carriage, there are maybe twenty people who sit in the same place every day. You’ll know who the regular commuters are by looking around the carriage and, if you’re on the phone, talking loudly to a pal or using leaky earphones, all the people who are looking at you do the journey every day.
If you only get the train every now and again please follow this simple code of conduct:
- Do not under any circumstances speak to a distant acquaintance with whom you have not spoken in the last 6 months or more. They do not want to speak to you. A wave is more than sufficient and don’t be offended if you are ignored. Personally, I’d ignore you.
- Do not bring a pal along for the ride. If you do, keep any discussion at a minimum and at a low level. No laughing.
- Wait until the last minute to board the train. You’re an amateur, you have no right to a good seat.
- Under no circumstances speak to someone on the phone. No-one wants to hear what “mega deal” you’re closing that day. It’ll wait till 9, idiot.
- Take the window seat if it’s available and keep your gear off the seats. You’re not getting two seats to yourself; accept it. If I see you sitting in the aisle seat with a window seat next to you, I’ll take great pleasure in making you get up to let me in.
The above will sound intolerant and rude. Please don’t take it that way. Commuting is a necessary evil which people adapt to in their own way. For me, I sleep in the morning then either read or watch something on my generic tablet device on the way home. Most other regular commuters find a similar way of chilling out. Therefore, if you don’t do it all the time, have a thought to those who do and leave them in peace.
If you don’t keep the noise down, you will appear to others like the most annoying man on telly: this week’s Tash, the guy from the Go Compare advert. If he was on my train, he would find himself being compared to a findus lasagne: definitely something which was formerly an mammal but you’ll need to test it at a molecular level before you can tell what it was previously.
Have a great weekend folks.