I don’t often get the tube. I’m fortunate enough to only live 15 minutes walk from where I currently work, and even though it’s been raining Northern style in the capital this week, there’s some kind of freedom in not having to get the cattle carriage to work every morning. Today however, my job as a PA required me to run a few errands on the way to the office , and so was one of those mornings, where like everyone else, I had to cram into the hot and muggy train, not getting a seat and wobbling all over the place as we shuttled towards our next destinations.
It’s interesting what kind of people you come across on the tube on a regular day, especially just after peak time, where everything is starting to settle down, and you pretty much have the stragglers who are late for work. There’s Miss Make Up Smudge, who is trying to do her mascara as we hurtle into the next station, tutting loudly and muttering “For fucks sake” as she yet again stabs herself in the eyebrow, smudging black gunk where black gunk should not be.
Or how about Mr Sneezealot, who literally is coughing and spluttering all over the place, making you wonder if he should be attempting to go to work at all, and whether he’ll just be sent home as soon as he arrives anyway. Mr Loudest Headphones-Ever is annoying too, as you don’t quite fancy listening to yet another David Guetta remix before 9.30am in the morning. However, you’d rather let your head thump along to this than the sound of Mrs Last-Night Heartbreak ferociously texting her Ex with a stern look on her face, her fingers hammering her iPhone, with the button sound still left on.
And the interesting calibre of individuals doesn’t finish when you step onto the platform either. There’s Miss Rush Past and Push You trying to scrape her way up the escalator, who seemingly runs into and gets annoyed by Monsieur Swingy Arms who walks along at a jolly leisurely pace. He must not be at work today, no one strolls happily through the underground. You’ve got Miss Wobble Heels who is all over the place like a bull in a china shop trying to cram herself and her many bags into the lift.
And then you’re just there, you, Detective Inspector NoseyMcJudgy, watching all of this go on. And then you realise you’ve spent all this time observing and analysing all of these other people and before you know it. ‘Shit. I’m late for work.’