Monday, June 23, 2008

Let's get something clear here

I'm getting a bit fed up of people thinking that because I encourage people to wear badges saying "I Hate First Great Western" when they are receiving a bad service, that I am also the kind of person who kicks puppies and pushes old ladies into the road.

One comment in my last post suggested I might be related to a lady who got off at Slough, who'd been abusing a train manager with bad language when he tried to remove her from the first class carriage. Another recent comment has suggested that I am personally responsible for people being rude to staff on board trains.

This is, of course, nonsense. I am in fact most charming and polite, and would never condone bad behaviour of any sort on trains. In fact, I am almost embarrassed to use my first class upgrade, as I realise it's a perk I've done nothing to deserve. My embarrassment is not, however, great enough to stop me using it so far, as it allows me to get some quiet time away from the enormous number of people with pushchairs and children with sticky faces all bellowing away in various languages as they make their way to visit the wonderful tourist sites of Windsor or London.
But I do sit meekly in First Class, never demanding my free cup of tea, or taking away the copy of the Times that has been kindly left on the table. I don't talk into my mobile in a loudhailer voice, put my bag on the seat when there are people who need to sit down, listen to loud music, smell bad (at least I hope not) or generally make a nuisance of myself. I am, in fact, a model passenger, so please desist from casting nasturtiums, it's most distressing.
In other news, I am currently musing on whether to buy myself a folding bike, to take on the trains and spare myself the sweaty crush of the tubes. There seem to be several Brompton owners amongst my usual commuting crowd, so are you one of them, and can I ask about your experiences in terms of suitable clothing, cycling in London, and whether you wimp out and take the bike on the tube if it's raining?


Susan said...

Yes - you should get a Brompton! I too resisted the temptation for several months but last year I purchased a Brompton second-hand off Ebay (after checking all its creditials of course) and I've never looked back. It is quicker, more fun (none of those gloomy faces on the tube), not as hot and gives you great exercise. And it's nice to pass those large queues at Paddington every time the underground station is shut due to overcrowding. Also the journey time is predictable. Although the first week of cycling might be a little scary, once you have sorted your route and got used to the traffic, it's a breeze!

From a 25yr old brompton convert

mamf45 said...

and you worry about me on a motorbike???

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry if you were upset that I thought that the lady who was traveling to Slough may have been a relative of you - in fact, I thought she was was an ex-wife of one of the Beatles.

However, if you are going to start a blog entitled I Hare FGW, hand out badges with this on them (which I have had literally shoved in my face while trying to do my job to the benefit of all passengers on my trains), you may have to expect a certain amount of flak from the staff who have to take the ill-informed abuse of them that is posted on your site.

I'm glad you are enjoying your 1st class upgrade, as I said, I have personally informed many passengers of this perk and told them how to avail of it. I have also taken lots of abuse from passengers who I felt were trying to misuse it.

If you are going to put yourself in a position where you are using words like HATE about people (even if we are in a uniform, and therefore seen as legitimate targets), then don't act surprised if those people might not have as high an opinion of you as you seem to have of yourself.

Anonymous said...

You could also buy a cheap fullsize bike and leaving it at Paddington. There is normally room in the cycle racks on platform 8/9.

Cycling is faster than the tube, and you save 3 quid a day not having to use the tube.