I’m an Idiot, Get Me Out of Here

The waiting room on platform 3 at Vauxhall is a tricky one*. Two doors, only one of which opens, and two options: push and pull. There used to be a little handwritten cardboard sign on the one that opened saying ‘push’ on the outside and ‘pull’ on the inside, but that got taken down last year, no doubt on health and safety grounds. Or perhaps somewhere deep in the bowels of SouthWest Trains a committee on door signage is drawing up a policy document prior to commissioning a team of branding experts and sign designers to roll out a company-wide door-signage solution. Meanwhile, the less methodical passengers will continue to try pushing the non-opening door, pulling the non-opening door, pulling the opening door that needs to be pushed and then, as often as not, scratching their heads and walking away. Or in the case of the young man this morning trying to get out of the waiting room (goodness knows how he managed to get in) to catch his train, shaking the non-opening door violently in his desperation to get out. Most people have enough rudimentary logic to go through all the alternatives until they find the one that works but there’s always somebody who persists in trying to open the door in the way they think it ought to be opened instead of the way it actually opens.

And those of us in the know? We sit there and watch. We could point out the correct way to open the door but it might be interpreted as patronising. And besides, watching someone making a slight tit of themselves in public is one of the few pleasures we have left in these benighted times, and we wouldn’t want to cut it short.

* That’s ‘tricky’ in its loosest sense…

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4 responses to “I’m an Idiot, Get Me Out of Here

  1. I’ve just caught up on your last few posts. Firstly, a belated Happy Birthday and secondly I thought this brilliant. (aka Lilo)

  2. Ooh thanks and thanks!

    I wondered where you’d been hiding… another vox defector eh?

  3. ‘fraid so, but I’ll still keep the old 20six one going now and again.

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