Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Friday night is fright night

Hello all
Proper news about the new December timetable and a request for your views on it coming soon, so watch this space.

But as the leaves begin to fall, and a chill begins to bother the back of my neck as I wait at the station, my thoughts turn inevitably to Halloween, and all things horrible.

A-ha, you think I'm going to say my thoughts turn to First Great Western, don't you? Well, no, in fact, I'm talking once again about the horror of passengers behaving badly.

My increasingly more frequent chats with FGW employees has uncovered the fact that, while we have good reason to be frustrated, we may sometimes not behave in a manner becoming upstanding commuter-types.

One employee reports that he has been spat at, and I myself have observed the pack-like instincts of the drunken commuter faced with a cancelled service late at night, something which resembles the behaviour and sound of hyenas. Our friend the Insider has also reported that staff are unwilling to say which platform a train is expected to arrive at because there are some travellers who do not care who they push and shove in order to be first on the train and first to a seat.

Now, we all know the reason for our frustrations - delays and cancellations. Nothing new there.

But, we should expect to be judged by the way we behave, and if, as I have heard, train managers sometimes decide not to come out of their rooms at all during some services, then that's a worry.

On a lighter note, I'd like to ask for some views on visual protests. The badges provided by this blog are clearly a marvellous opportunity to make our feelings known. But they're very small, and staff usually don't see them at all.

So, should I happen to be organising some kind of visual event (let's just say for the purposes of argument that I might be, but I might not) what should it be - flags, t-shirts, hats?

I'm thinking of something along the lines of the Flash Mob trend, which started a few years ago, and involves lots of people turning up to the same place at a time agreed at the last minute, all demonstrating, or acting in a certain way, then going away again. Not very well explained, but here's a website which might help: http://www.geocities.com/londonmobs/.

I'd like to something amusing, very visual and which will give the message that travelling by FGW is a real pain in the bum - perhaps we could all wear giant prosthetic bums?
As you can see, I do really need your help, so, since I know you all have plenty of time staring into space, or the next person's neck, on the way home, get your thinking caps on and come up with some ideas.


Anonymous said...

I've worn by badge on my school blazer over the past few weeks and had overwhelmingly positive response. The number of people that have burst out laughing and ask if I could get the one has been huge. It seems that there is a widespread dislike for First Great Western. It’s just a matter of finding a way for people to express it.

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