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This is a question Driven to Madness

Captain Placid asks: What annoying things do significant others, workmates and other people in general do that drive you up the wall? Do you want to kill your other half over their obsessive fridge magnet collection? Driven to distraction over your manager's continued use of Comic Sans (The Font of Champions)? Tell us.

(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 12:11)
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These things drive me mad:
There are two Londons.

On the one hand it is a fun, attraction-filled paradise for tourists who visit for a few days at a time. On the other hand it is a grey, oppressive, inhuman monster that consumes the souls and health of those who work there every single day. Depending on what you get up to in a single day, you may see both sides of it.

I spend most of my time in the grey one, rushing between various customer sites using the excellent public transport system. Excellent, that is, apart from one thing... it is clogged up with wonder-filled lollygagging backpack-bearing tourists.

Tourists, you need to learn some rules if you want to share daytime London with us workers. It's our city.

These rules may also explain why you are so bruised at the end of a hard day of clogging up sightseeing in the Big Smoke.

1. No stopping dead at the top of the tube station stairs to look at your map. There is a continuous flow of comprised of 8 million people still trying to get off the stairs behind you. You are like a cork in a bottle. That's why we are all trying to shoulder barge you and your stupid girlfriend out the way.
2. No stopping dead at the top of the escalator to look at your map, either. Like number 1, only with a far more relentless flow of people being propelled towards you.
3. No holding hands. There is not enough room on the pavements/station platform for people to pass you. No-one ever called London the "City of Love". If you want romance, piss off to St Pancreas and catch the Eurostar to Paris.
4. No stopping dead in the middle of the pavement on Oxford Street to take a stupid bloody photo of some stupid bloody shops. See 1 for details of why. But really? Are you really from such a backward country, that the sight of some shops and lights fills you with awe and a compulsion to take a shit photo that won't come out anyway because it's dark and you mobile phone camera doesn't have a flash? Or are you just inconsiderate and thick? I hate you all, regardless.
5. Don't crowd around the doors when a tube train arrives at the platform. Leave a gap so that the people on the train can get off first. Hint: this makes more space for you to get on the train, albeit two seconds later, and stops me swinging my backpack into your stupid foreign face as I have to fight my way off the train.
6. "Stand on the right." That's what the sign says on the escalators, and implied in that statement is "leave space on the left for people to walk past". Do not dawdle, stand in a wide-bodied fashion, or obstruct the step with luggage. You may not care about catching the next train because there will be another one in 2 minutes, but you don't understand that the commuter train I get from Waterloo only runs every 30 minutes, and that 2 minutes could be the difference between a scrummy hot dinner and a microwave reheat.
7. When approaching the ticket barrier that is in place in EVERY SINGLE TUBE STATION IN LONDON AND IS NOT A SURPRISE, get your ticket ready before you get to the barrier. Don't arrive at the barrier, look confused, and then unpack your entire 65L rucksack looking for your ticket. This is especially frustrating to watch, as there is nowhere dangerous for us to barge you to.
8. You are allowed to congregate and dawdle in Trafalgar Square. Only place in London where it is acceptable. And with any luck a pigeon will shit on you.
9. These rules only apply from 0600 to 1900, Monday to Friday - for the rest of the week, the city is yours - ENJOY!

If I had my way, there would be watchtowers erected on all busy streets and at the top of tube station exits, and snipers would enforce severe penalties on anyone breaking these rules.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 0:19, 24 replies)

(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 1:18, closed)
As much as I detest London, I agree with this.

(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 1:51, closed)
I believe Emma Clarke
has something to say about this.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 7:57, closed)
I like this so hard!
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 8:17, closed)
Was she actually sacked?
I remember the big flap over her making the spoofs and threats of her being fired, but I never did hear a follow up on it.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 9:26, closed)
Just checked her website
Still don'y know if she was sacked! There's some funny shit on there.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 9:40, closed)
I don't even live in London any more.
I wrote that 3 years ago, and The Telegraph wouldn't publish it.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 9:13, closed)
That's a very long
winded way to say 'keep out of my way'.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 8:35, closed)
good god yes.

(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 8:57, closed)
Add as #10
10. Take your rucksack off before the train arrives and never attempt to enter the train wearing your rucksack. Continually turning left and right transforms your house sized rucksack into a battering ram, sweeping aside all that stand or pass near you. Then once on the sardine packed train don't wear it. Why should you take the place of two people unless you are keeping that space behind your ass free for a midget.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 9:06, closed)
I have to say that the public transport users in London (last time I visited)
were a lot more polite than the public transport users in Perth (where I live and only catch public transport if I really, really have to.)
Then again I gave out out a LOT more cigarettes in London to beggars.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 9:07, closed)

That'll be the clean, punctual Perth train I'm currently sitting on?
The one that has seats free in rush hour and air-conditioned comfort.
Returning me to my car, parked in the FREE station car park?

Oh yes, pity me, you lucky, lucky Underground users..
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 9:21, closed)
Hey I did say it was a long time between drinks.
Speaking of...?
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 10:13, closed)
These are the very reasons ...
... why I don't use the tube in London if I can help it.

Thatcher may have considered a man over 26 on a bus to be a failure, but I consider him to be someone who doesn't have to get onto the tube!
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 9:30, closed)
you forgot to mention
trolley suitcases - much worse than any of the above.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 10:36, closed)
Agreed. Lived in London for a whole year, and it was a year too long.
Cambridge is not free of the scourge, either. I hate it when people walk along the pavement as if they all suffered from a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis, which seems to keep their feet slow and locks their heads in a position which facilitates anything but looking where they're going. And in the summer they all come in bloody great big school groups with matching backpacks, filling up every sodding pavement so that ordinary citizens have to walk in the fucking gutter. Gits.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 11:32, closed)
I think somebody needed more cuddles from mummy and daddy when they were little, didn't they?

(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 11:32, closed)
Yeah, and people who do cuddles.
They can piss off too.
(, Wed 10 Oct 2012, 10:26, closed)
My thoughts exactly
number 6 is a particular pet hate of mine.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 12:06, closed)
For the most part I agree with what you are saying but....
You wear a backpack on a packed tube? This is a cardinal sin.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 13:04, closed)
Laptop rucksack, since I commuted 80 miles and walked 5 of them.
Yes, I know. I used to take it off before getting on the train.
(, Wed 10 Oct 2012, 10:29, closed)
Move out of London
Not just so you can have a longer commute to get back in - actually get a job near where you live somewhere other than London.

You'll be surprised how much you like it.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 15:50, closed)
Also, the rest of us can hang around the ticket barriers
without him standing behind us tutting.
(, Mon 8 Oct 2012, 16:11, closed)
I've emigrated to New Zealand since
so if you want to hear me tutting, you need to hang around the ticket barriers at Britomart instead.

But since I've left London I've been about 110% calmer anyways.
(, Wed 10 Oct 2012, 10:28, closed)

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