Thursday, 20 November 2014

Disgust on the District Line

I’ve blogged before about manners and where have they disappeared to in the UK?

However, something happened on Monday to get my week off to a cracking start!

Since moving I now have to travel a different way into work. Those of you from the London area will have heard of the 2 routes I’ll refer to, for those of you who don’t I’ll try paint a picture.

In a previous company I had to travel on the district line, part of the London underground, I’d then change and get another underground train. When I moved to my current company over three years ago I could travel in using National Rail – an overground train which has set scheduled train times.

Typically the District line is cramped, full of rude people and always seems to smell or have some sort of unpleasant experience happen on it. The rail train tended to seem more pleasant, although I soon found you got your fair share of rude people on there too (think arrogant businessman barging into everyone or whiny chav talking super loud about their private life).

When I moved I realised my routine of getting the overground train was going to change and I was going to be back to the good old District Line, I won’t lie I was dreading it. It always has delays and always makes me feel sweaty and dirty on disembarking.

However, for most of the journeys in the last few weeks (bar this week) it has actually not been quite as bad as I remembered and in fact I quite liked the slightly longer time on the train as it gives me time to read my book for longer and catch up on work emails on my way in at times before we go into tunnels.

On Monday though, my experience was not so good. In fact it was probably one of if not the worst time I’ve had on my commute in. And to be fair to TfL for once it was nothing to do with them.

It was a passenger.

Thankfully we were only a few stops from where I need to get off.

I was sitting minding my own business reading my Kindle when I heard an odd noise – it sounded like a child. Then I noticed people looking in the direction of the noise (the carriage was pretty packed as usual) and they looked a bit uncomfortable to put it politely.

Eventually I turn my head to look through the gap in the crowds and I see what this unpleasant sight is…

A Mum with her little boy and girl. The little boy had clearly been taken ill as they’d stepped on the train. He was being sick. Obviously he can’t help that.

The Mum? She was just standing there letting him being sick on the floor. Then she started to just hold a tissue out.

You can imagine the scene and the mess. It was horrible.

The best bit of this tale? The Mum proceeded to dump the dirty tissues straight on the carriage floor around people.

Then when we arrived at the next stop? She just got off, took her children with her and left the rest of us in the carriage to the mess. Nice.

An older gentlemen then found some old newspaper and just covered things up.

Now, I know the child can’t help being ill. I am not one of these people that sneers at children on the train (well not unless I’m in a real grumpy mood!)

However, as the adult in the situation I couldn’t believe how the woman was not more aware of what was happening, other people, the germs, not to mention her little boy standing there openly vomiting on to the floor.

My tummy flipped over quite a few times and I did start to wonder if I’d be next. You’ll be pleased to know I wasn’t.

It just got me thinking again though about thinking of others and common courtesy. The way the mother behaved and also the passengers at that end of the carriage, I realised nobody offered the little boy their seat whilst he was unwell either.

Are we just becoming a society now of everyone for themselves and looking out for number one? I sincerely hope not.

Still, we’re approaching Christmas now so perhaps all these festive ads everyone harps on about will help warm people’s hearts and get them thinking of people around them and not just themselves…

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