Monday, 15 January 2007
Too many cooks spoil the broth
Another week commences.
What is it about Mondays during the winter that is so substantially dismal?
This morning I was even more befuddled than normal when the alarm went off. I truly thought it was Sunday morning and I felt enormously bad-tempered that the radio had switched itself on at the weekend.
And then I remembered.
I have noticed that, since the return to work in January and the onset of various engineering works and problems with the trains, that there are colossal numbers of South West Trains staff patrolling the platform of the station where I board the train. There are literally swarms of them in coats and high-visibility jackets. They just stand around in groups of three or four, chatting amongst themselves and generally taking up a lot of space on the platform. I can’t quite grasp why there are so many. Are they members of staff who have been displaced from other stations where there is only a bus service? But what is their function? They don’t talk to customers. There are just a couple checking tickets, and sadly the free-tea man has disappeared. The rest seem to be wasting time for no apparent reason, having a laugh with their hands in their pockets. Perhaps it is for show – ‘look we know the service is rubbish for those of you who have the misfortune to step onto one our 1970s replacement bus services, but there are loads of staff about to help you get on the bus and to answer any questions.’ Yeah, loads of staff. Too many staff !!
Have you noticed how the replacement bus services now have South West Trains branding on them? They recognise that they need to use them so often that they have taken the decision to actually invest in some and paint them red and yellow and whatever other colours are in the branding. Good thinking there. But not very reassuring for lowly passengers like me.
On another point, I read an article today about how trains are the new work place. Apparently you can adjust the work/life balance by working on the train instead of/as well as in the office. This can save the amount of time you spend at work. Nevermind the issues of privacy and teenagers hurling abuse at each other, and people peering over your shoulder (I always do this when someone sits next to me with a laptop. I’m just nosy, but I might learn something interesting. Plus I like to see what people do for a living and stuff like that. I also like to see what books people are reading, and then I feel especially smug if I have already read that one.)
So, perhaps I should use the little handheld thing more often? Or I could just sleep.