Monday, July 25, 2005

Ignorance and Stupidity

Firstly, before I go into one of my rants, I apologise it's been a while since I last blogged. This is due to a number of reasons including PC probs (again!).

Anyway, the title of this blog is a big clue to what I'm going to have a whinge about! It's those ignorant, stupid, thoughtless people who are helping the terrorists achieve their objectives of bringing fear and chaos to London by leaving bags on trains and stations.

I can understand people accidentally leaving a bag on a train. We're only human and accidents do happen, but surely once you realise you'd go back to a member of staff and tell them!
Many people seem to be embarassed by the fact they've left a bag on a train and won't admit to it. They'll be a lot more embarassed when the train arrives into a station which is then evacuated because of that bag.

This is now a DAILY occurance on the District Line alone! Goodness only knows how many alerts other lines are suffering from which I don't know about.
One day last week, we had Mile End, West Ham, Fulham Broadway and Victoria all evacuated at some stage.

The people who REALLY piss me off though are the ignorant gits who seem to deliberately leave bags in provocative positions on trains. Again this has happened a few times lately, and happened to me on Friday.
I arrived into Upminster and was changing ends when I noticed a sports bag, which hadn't just been left, but had been TIED to a seat.
I immediately cleared the train and contacted the line controller who arranged for a duty manager to attend. Luckily, I spotted a police officer on another platform, so I beckoned him over and explained the situation to him.
It took him a few minutes, but very gently he managed to open the top of the bag enough to peek inside and declare it was just rubbish... DELIBERATELY left to try and cause an evacuation etc.

Whoever does this is no better than the terrorists themselves, but with armed police now regularly patrolling, they will have to be careful. We've already had one innocent person killed (why did he run? That's another debate for another place), but I'm sure an armed police officer who saw someone tying a bag to a seat then running off the train may well give chase.

It's also "nice" to see the kids haven't bothered to give us a break. As if we're not stressed enough from bomb threats etc, the little bastards in the Dagenham area are still having fun by shooting at trains with an air rifle or catapult. Several trains over the past few days have had windows put out.
This is another thing I hate about some of our customers.... They won't report a window having been shot out! They simply move to another part of the carriage and let us find out for ourselves! The problem being that they know for health and safety reasons, the train will be immediately taken out of service and the poor things will have to wait another few minutes for the next train.

Anyway, that's enough ranting for one day!

Got an early finish today after my second train was cancelled. Brilliant! I'll get home, have a beer and a Chinese! unfortunately, just as I arrived at Acton Town, the Piccadilly line was suspended due to a suspicious person on the track, so by the time I got home, it was almost my normal time anyway!

Hopefully I'll be back again tomorrow, but as always, it's dependent on having a working PC!!! Only another few days until my hols anyway, so a fortnight away from London will certainly settle my stress!


Blogger 49erDweet said...

What a ghastly time to be a driver. As a Yank who loves the 'tubes' - and the Gloucester(sp?) Road station area - I have the utmost admiration for the courage displayed by you and your mates as you are going through these times. God bless you all.

Query: Would self-help bins stocked with complementary brightly colored "minding straps" located at the upper entrance to every access point at each station help reduce the percentage of passengers who are merely 'forgetful'?

The straps could be afixed to one's wrist at one end and a carry-on at the other, thus 'reminding' a person by tugging on their wrist if the bag were forgotten as they began to leave the cars when they reach their destination.

The straps themselves could probably be cheerfully provided by national advertisers who - of course - would be expected to print out a short ad with logo on the straps themselves.

This would not, of course, solve the complete problem. But any reduction of the 'innocent' incidents, could allow more efforts into preventing the 'intentional' and 'actual'.

Quite obviously this would need to be supported by overhead car placards reminding Londoners that "good manners requires the use of 'minding straps'." Since you Brits are suckers for good manners, that should be all that would be necessary for virtually 100% compliance. :-)

With your kind permission I have two other items I would like to ask of you, but this post itself goes beyond the realm of acceptable societal discourse, so for now I shall wish you health and Godspeed.

7:37 pm  
Blogger DistrictDriver said...

An interesting idea, there! I'll have to suggest that to the 'powers that be' although I'm sure they'd think of a reason why it's a bad idea! Every good idea we suggest is always a bad idea!

Feel free to ask away! Any questions etc, I'm more than happy to answer. If I can't answer them, I'm sure I'll know someone who can!
If you don't want to post on the comments section, feel free to email me!

1:11 am  
Blogger topovitch said...


I'd love to use an extract from your last blog on my news page, which goes to press on Monday August 1. It would be around 200 words and of course I will credit you. Is this OK with you?
Rebecca Taylor Time Out News Editor (020 7813 6061)

11:32 am  
Blogger DistrictDriver said...

Topovitch, feel free to use what you want!

4:43 am  

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