Faff faff faff

There are some people who cut their margin of error getting to the station so fine that they generally only catch their train by hurling themselves up the stairs and through the closing doors with the final whistle. There are some people who leave themselves a nice cushion of time (I like to have five minutes) to allow for unforeseen events such as meteorite strikes, early trains (SWT, this is not a nice trick to play!) and being knocked off their feet by the first kind of passenger as they make their way towards the platform. And then there is the third kind of person, the kind who has no concept of hurry or time whatsoever – the faffer whose usual habitat is in front of me in the queue at the station news stand.

These are people who wait until they are at the head of the queue before deciding what kind of coffee they want – or no, maybe hot chocolate would be nice … sorry no, cancel that, do you do tea? Herbal? Actually, no just a coffee. They are the people who are continually surprised that a stall might want to be paid for their services so then have to rummage with maddening slowness through their bag looking for a purse or wallet to pay, and who are just as surprised that anyone in a railway station might actually be in a bit of a hurry. The news stand at Vauxhall is laid out so that one really determined faffer can block the exit even for those of us organised enough to have the correct change and able to pay over their heads while they search for that elusive tenner. There was an arch faffer this morning who not only held up the queue while she searched for her purse for what seemed like about half an hour, but who also, when she’d been given her change, then spent the rest of the morning rummaging around putting it away again, without thinking to move out of the way. In situations like these time seems to slow down, trains arrive and depart, clouds move in time-lapse across the sky, empires rise and fall, and still there will one person in front of you in the queue who is only now considering whether they want powdered chocolate on their cappucino …


9 responses to “Faff faff faff

  1. Brilliant entry disgruntled. We get people like this in the shop, always at the busiest time. They simply seem to live on another world where nothing and nobody fazes them.

  2. yes … must be nice in a way to be that unflustered by life. As long as you’re not next in the queue.

  3. I encounter such faffmongers on a daily basis. They hover on the DLR platform at Bank right outside the open doors of a departing train. Just because they are waiting for the Canary Wharf service doesn’t mean that nobody else is trying to board the train. Out of my way you faffwankers!

  4. non-faffers of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but that pain you get in your jaw from grinding your teeth …

  5. A modest suggestion, to invigorate such faffers: the magic keyword “bomb”. At the very least, they’ll find themselves in a full nelson on the floor. That’s got to be a result.

  6. Or if the police are around, a full brazilian. Not sure that I’d wish that on even the worst faffers though

  7. I liked the timelapse clouds and the empires rising and falling. Very good.

  8. just found ur blog. it’s brilliant.
    as for this entry, just hit her/him with your arm, by chance, obviously n spill d coffee/tea/hot chocolate over their dress, should do the trick at least for this one.

  9. thanks Hannah and Babymother. Unfortunately the coffee cups have little plastic lids on so it’s hard to jolt them discreetly to any great effect

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