A week of commuting
I'm now a week into my new job and thoroughly enjoying it. Now that I've done the boring-but-important things of health and safety training (fire exits are here, here and here, don't stand on a chair on a table to change a light fitting), equality and diversity training (be kind to others) and had lots of paperwork photocopied and verified, I'm looking forward to the proper work starting in earnest next week.
My journey to work involves 50 minutes on a train each way. All the jobs I've had before have been pretty much within walking distance of my home so I thought it might take a bit of getting used to, but so far, so good. A friend posted a link to this Guardian article about commuting and I'm determined to use these commuting hours wisely! Some early thoughts on this commuting lark so far, which I'm not claiming to be entirely scientific:
- It is worth getting up 10 minutes earlier to ensure I get the earlier train which has fewer people on than the later train. This means I tend to have two seats (two!) to myself until a couple of stops before the final station, at which point I may occasionally have someone sit next to me.
- I'm always annoyed when I've used train stations and people have reached the ticket barriers without having their tickets ready, thus creating a bit of a queue. I thought commuters would be different - in theory, people who commute by train go through ticket barriers twice a day, five days a week, and for my work station I've never seen the ticket barriers not be in use. So surely commuters would be ready with their tickets. But no, every day there are people not ready with their tickets. These people are clearly dressed for work, and I'm beginning to recognise faces. Be prepared! Have your ticket ready! It will be quicker for everyone.
- I know everyone is in a rush, I know we all have to get to work/want to be home, but THERE IS NO ROOM FOR YOU ON THE TRAIN UNLESS YOU LET THE PEOPLE ON THE TRAIN GET OFF THE TRAIN! I get the train going to/from London and my work station is the final destination - everyone has to get off the train. So let them get off before you try to barge your way on. Barging does not help anyone.
- On the outward journey, more people are on their phones/tablets and reading paper documents than they are on the return journey, when more people are reading books. I like this distinction, that in the morning people are preparing for work whereas in the evening they're winding down.
- The preferred type of book appears to be popular fiction. Nothing too high brow and very little non-fiction.
- Rob, I don't know where Dave is. No one in this carriage knows where Dave is. I am sorry he is going to be late, again, for your meeting, but yes, at least this time you're running late too! I hope the person you're shouting at on the phone has located Dave by now and I also hope there aren't the technical difficulties you experienced last time when you met in that Premier Inn. But I do wish you'd expand on 'technical difficulties', don't leave us with only half a story!
- To the man who complained about his boss, quite loudly, in a very negative way, you may want to have such conversations in private - I could see your name and company logo on your staff ID card you were still wearing and I did a quick google, finding your department, your line manager, and the company senior management team. Perhaps be careful, as you never know who is listening!
Ah, commuting. A whole new world!