5 Things I Hate About Commuting
I’ve been commuting for a few years now and completely understand the woes of commuters.
Cost, delays, rudeness of passengers, delays, piling onto a train where it’s every man for himself, oh, and did I mention the delays?
I travel to work using National Rail and sometimes London Underground so I can only comment on my own experiences but I’m sure a lot of commuters will be able to identify with most of these.
Cost of Travel
Let’s start with the big one.
I know, only too well, that the biggest gripe when it comes to commuting is how much it costs us to use the railway.
An annual season ticket will cost thousands of pounds, and year after year this cost goes up but the level of service doesn’t seem to improve (or maybe it does but is so tiny that we don’t even notice it). There isn’t even a guarantee of a seat.
This goes up even further if you drive and park your car at the station; parking at a train station is not cheap.
Oh the delays!
You get to the station on time, it’s pouring with rain and then you hear the dulcet tones of a member of station staff announcing, “I’m afraid the xx train is delayed due to signal failure,” or “The xx train has been cancelled due to an earlier broken down train,” or “Sorry for the delay to your train, this is due to engineering works”. I know them all off by heart, I assure you, I could list more!
Most train operating companies have a delay repay scheme in place where, if your journey is delayed for more than 30 minutes, you can claim compensation for that journey.
In one year I claimed about £450 worth of vouchers which I used towards my season ticket for the following year. It was £8 here and £4 there but in a year it does add up. Gives you a good idea of how many delays there were that year!
Remember, you are paying A LOT of money for a service! If you have been delayed and the delay was over 30 minutes, claim. It all adds up.
Trust me, I can go on forever about delays! Right, onto the next one…
There is nothing worse than being on a packed, hot and stuffy train and you are sandwiched next to someone who smells like they haven’t had a shower for a week.
On more than one occasion, I’ve been on the tube with someone’s armpit in my face. Not nice.
Especially on the underground, there is a complete lack of personal space as everyone is crammed in like sardines.
I’m not sure what the answer is, maybe there isn’t an answer. I’m sure the underground is running at full capacity and it’s not as if they can extend the platforms.
Catching some zzzzzzz
Imagine you are sitting on a window seat and need to get off at the next stop but the person next to you is in the land of nod. You try waking them up by asking them (louder than usual) to let you out and hoping they will hear, but now try doing that when they have headphones on as well!
No one wants to gently shake a stranger and some people get annoyed when they have just been woken up.
If you know you will be having a nap/sleep, ask the person next to you when they are getting off, they may even suggest swapping seats and save the embarrassment.
A little consideration goes a long way.
Bags on Seats
Why do people do this? As far as I’m concerned, seats are for bums not bags.
If the train is very quiet, then it’s fine but when the service is busy, why should you have to ask if you can sit down and when you do, they quietly huff because you are inconveniencing THEM by asking THEM to move THEIR bag / coat / whatever so you are able to sit down.
Most trains provide overhead racks for bags / coats: use them.
I don’t think many people enjoy commuting and hate it a little more when something goes wrong after you have had a long day in the office and just want to get home, especially on a Friday evening.
However, I do wonder whether the face of commuting will eventually change.
People are looking for a better work life / home life balance and with the advancement of technology, it is becoming a lot easier to work remotely, you don’t necessarily have to be in the office to do your job.
Our mobiles are no longer phones with a computer, they are computers with a phone (I heard that line somewhere!).
There are still quite a few jobs that cannot be done remotely but with technology advancing at a record speed and new apps that allow us to do everything under the sun, maybe working remotely will, eventually, become more common than we realise.
I’m waiting for an app where someone makes me a cup of tea.