The guards on SouthWest Train are a chatty bunch – at least when the trains are running normally. Even when the automated announcements are going the guards still like to come on when they can get a word in edgeways and add a few pithy comments of their own. Sadly, while undoubtedly up to date in their key job skills of whistle blowing, door opening and Sudoku completion, nobody seems to have trained them in public speaking, so the announcements tend to be rambling at best. The one who came on this evening to warn us about a possible continued suspension of the Victorial line due to a person on the line (‘this update is now at least two hours old’) decided to end with ‘And a reminder to all passengers that the Waterloo and City line … (loses thread for a moment) … calling at Waterloo, obviously, is closed until September’, which at least got a laugh.
Normally they close with the telling us where they are on the train and urging that should we need any assistance ‘any assistance at all’ – just to ask. I suppose they’re just reminding us of their existence – or even reminding themselves. It can’t be easy being made more or less obsolete by a shiny new train and a computerised voice. One of these days I may just take them up on their offer of help: Any assistance at all, you said? Really? Would you tie my shoelaces for me? How about carry my bag? And things are busy at work, you could help out there. Or there’s the ironing … I could always use help with the ironing…
If you see someone on Monday being bundled off the train with a pile of shirts and an ironing board, that will be me, discovering the limits of helpfulness of SouthWest Trains
Have a good weekend, one and all.