Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A random breakdown of the current tube strikes that are happening... again.

Guess what? There's only 10 days left until a new book hits the Amazon stores!! It's book 2 in this little known series called The Utopia Series. It's called A World Reborn and will be available on 9th May 2014!! A link to book 1, Utopia, might be available somewhere around here... say the right hand bar... it's a little small, so good luck finding it... *wink*

In other news, there are strikes happening once again in London on our underground... yes, you are correct, this has only just happened... remember? I got all melodramatic and "epic" with my tale of that time...

Well, it's happened again. I haven't checked the leaflets so far on their reasons for it this time, although I think it's safe to say that there are very mixed feelings about the strike this time. It basically means that, for three days, the lovely commuters of London have to rely on their expert knowledge of London to find alternative routes to and from work.  This is something that can be incredibly annoying when you live on the other side of London to where you work and are very much reliant on the underground system to get you places.

We're into the second day of the three day strike and, so far, I have identified three main reactions to this particular action, these are:

1. The "Why the hell are they doing this to us again? *Rant rant, angry words, shouts at random strangers*" people. 

These are the people who are probably most reliant on underground and find that, without these trains available, they are having to leave the house a whole couple of hours earlier than they would do normally, just to ensure that they get to work only half an hour later than they should be in. Therefore, the strike has the biggest effect on them.

I should add a disclaimer that I probably mostly fall into this category. I have a very simple journey into work nowadays, the station nearest my house goes directly to the station nearest my work. Easy peasy. But when that train is taken out the equation, suddenly my journey becomes a complex combination of buses and other trains that are so packed that everything slows down to a snails pace. I also then find myself becoming almost carnal in my need to get on said trains and buses, along with the rest of the commuters around me. Let me tell you, once you have found yourself on a packed platform with about 300 other people, all trying to get on the same already packed train, you soon realise your true self. All common courtesy and overall British politeness, when it comes to commuting, is forgotten; old ladies are thrown to the wayside as they are considered too weak to survive, ribs are broken as everyone elbows everyone else in the fight for the last spot on the train, and, let me tell you, if you ever feel the need to be felt up by a random stranger in public, just go out during a strike... you will be heaven.

Naturally, after spending 2 and a half hours in this kind of environment, all sympathy for the reasons as to why these strikes are taking place, tends to get lost on people. It doesn't matter how legitimate the reasons might be for the strike, hell even if the result of the strike would cause world peace, it wouldn't be a good enough reason. Now people are just flustered, hot, sweaty and smelling of not just their own personal fragrance, but that of about 15 other people. That, right there, will inevitably result in shouts and anger and a need to rant at whoever it was who forced them into this situation in the first place.

The real brave people in these situations, I find, are those who are striking and have situated themselves right outside a busy station to advertise the fact that they are the cause of the strike. These are the people who have to face the anger of a mass of annoyed commuters, which is not a pretty sight, let me tell you. I have walked past a fair few of these arguments and rants taking place and it is absolutely terrifying.

I'm fairly annoyed at the whole thing, but I also hate confrontation, so my way of letting out my frustration is to write a strongly worded tweet or facebook status, and then feel happy that I have said my part. I also will inevitably forget my irritation the moment the trains are back to normal, as I can't hold onto a grudge to save my life.

2. The "How dare you complain? If it wasn't for Union strikes, we'd all have been working down the mines since the age of 12!" people.

Valid point. Union strikes have done good in this world, and are a way for people to fight back against what does tend to be a fairly corrupt group of rich people who are calling the shots. I'm not saying they're always corrupt, but I think we can all safely say that corruption is something that is taking place. There have been many a reason for strikes in the past, and some of the biggest achievements in this world have come out of said strikes. I have had a quick look at the reasons behind this strike,  and I have my opinions on them, but I also acknowledge that these reasons are based on very limited knowledge of the whole thing, so I'm not going to go into detail on them here. I'm just going to say that, in a world where technology is causing things to change, we may have to find a way to adapt and change with it. (This being around the need for less people on the station front due to having ticket machines to do the work instead in a more efficient manner.) Therefore, I'm not totally sure if I'm completely on board with some of the strike reasons, but please don't shoot me! Just a small insignificant opinion from a self-professed newbee in the world of Underground train politics.

3. The rather bizarre "I'm not going to blame the Underground staff for my nightmare commute, but rather all the other commuters who are trying to get to work as well as me" people. 

Tuesday morning, as I set off on my dreaded journey, I text One-And-Only-Daniela to see how she was doing on her travelling. One-And-Only-Daniela only needs to take one bus to work, a nice simple journey that she normally enjoys. This was the conversation that we had:

One-And-Only-Daniela has been shortened to OAOD

Me: About to start my "strike travel" grrrr
OAOD: There's a lot of traffic. I think people who normally get the train should walk and not inconvenience the original people that get the bus lol!
Me: Hey! That's me! How else are we meant to get to work?
OAOD: Walk
Me: I should walk to the other side of London? Sounds fair.
OAOD: Exactly right.

Shortly after this, I come across a facebook status that complained about the people who normally take trains into work but have now decided to take their cars, thus making the roads a nightmare. Apparently it wasn't fair on the rest of the "normally driving" commuters that these people were finding alternative routes. Again, I wondered, how else are these people meant to get into work? Believe me, if I drove, or had a car for that matter, I would be all over that driving shizzle.

At the bus stop yesterday, I overheard two people complaining about the increase of people trying to get on their usual bus, saying it wasn't fair that they were choosing this route instead... not really a choice, but I didn't know them, and they were twice my size, so I decided to stay out of that particular topic so as to keep my face intact.

This, somehow, has become the most popular groan and opinion during these particular strikes. I'm not sure how it happened, but the people who appear to be receiving the blame for the strike are not the strikers, nor the government, but the other commuters who normally get the train. I'm sorry, what? That logic is completely lost on me.

However, as I'm not really a fan of upsetting people, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to all those blaming us, as a representative of the 'underground tube takers', for all the inconvenience we have caused. I know it has been insensitive of us to think that we deserved the same chances as you to get to work over the past couple of days. But I realise now that this was inconsiderate of us, and we should have realised we are lesser people who should have known better than to pick a route to work that solely relies on the underground system. To make it better, I will engage in conversations with my fellow people on finding alternative routes, once the strikes are over, so as to ensure that we become one of you guys. We will all take cars and buses from now on. We will realise the error of our ways, strike against taking the tubes, and become as sensible as you. That way, you won't notice the difference when the strikes occur because every day will be a strike day!

Yup... I think that well and truly solves the problem.

Peace out my lovelies.

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