I shouldn’t be writing this. I should be entombed in the graceless catacoombs of the tube system, pushing and shoving to gain access to an office that seems to need me more than I need it. But I’m marooned just outside Reading after the train failed to stop at a platform.
Let’s examine that statement shall we. How the fuck can you miss a platform? The vocational sphere of a train driver is surely little more than pressing one button marked start, and another one labelled stop. So rather than abandoning the three confused looking passengers expecting to alight at Charlebury, we backed up 8 trains on the single line and added thirty minutes to a three hour journey.
Which I could have spent reading the paper if they’re were any or working, assuming my oh-so-clever 3G connection would connect to something, anything really. I wasn’t alone in the connectivity isolation as demonstrated by the Crackberry generation grumbling around me. They switched their attention deficit to calling sleepy colleagues, so noisily confirming what a bunch of self important cock ends they really are
“Ah Good Morning Peter, sorry not too early is it? Thing is, I’m a little bored on a late train, so can you listen for a bit while I chunter on about pointless shit to show these other chaps what a thrusting executive I really am.”
I am an imposter here, a cipher in actions but not in thoughts. We all look the same, uncomfortable in suits and encumbered by technology stuff, but these are not my people. The reality of work is just because you’re good at it, is not a fantastic reason for carrying on doing it.
It’s taken me twenty years to work that out – which is a bit rubbish really since it’s quite a simple concept – and the obvious conclusion is that the trappings of a well paid job have absolutely nothing to do with any actual enjoyingment of carrying it out.
In the end I just gave up, plugged white noise into my ears and dribbled off into a broken sleep. The only upside was the volume of my mp3 player must surely be leaking into the general population. And so while they tapped vigorously, clipped brusque conversations and tried extremely hard to out-important each other, what they were really thinking was “I KNOW that riff, is is Tom Petty or the Beatles?”
Answer, neither – but since you only had a tinny base line to work with, on the return journey I’m going to augment it with some air drumming. Musical Charades to puncture the pomposity of the business carriages. We’re going to take the train back. C’mon whose with me?