The Usual Apologies ...  

TheQuietGuy2005 54M
3484 posts
12/12/2005 9:56 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

The Usual Apologies ...

"We regret to inform passengers that due to a temporary fault in the signalling at Wimbledon all services due to arrive at platform 9 are subject to delay and possible cancellation"

{Sigh} So there I was, delayed by 45 minutes on a cold and windy station. I guess I was one of the lucky ones: my train wasn't actually cancelled and, largely because of my thing about always leaving plenty of time, I was only 10 minutes late for the meeting.

Two things occurred to me though.

First, much as I miss working in the centre of London with so many good things on my doorstep, I really cannot pretend I miss the lottery of the daily commute. My daily bus rides may not be faster but, if I'm honest, they're far more civilised and relaxed than the suburban sardine-tin that is the commuter train.

The other thing that I noticed - as if it had always been invisible in the background before - was that the message of apology was delivered by a machine. It was a combination of pre-recorded phrases, thrown together to give this precise information.

Yes, it's always nice to get an apology but am I alone in thinking that it loses something when passed on by machine?

When you know it's a person who's apologising, you can almost imagine the announcer cowering in his or her office, fearing what will happen if the problem drags on too long, wondering how long it'll be before the frustrated would-be passengers storm their citadels.

When it's a machine, it's all too easy to imagine the human staff sitting with their feet up on the desk, drinking coffee and laughing at the would-be passengers.

So, please, save the recorded voice for the routine service announcements where clarity and accuracy are absolute musts; put up a scapegoat for us to to get angry with when there are problems - and we're that little bit less likely to get angry.

Mind you, it could have been worse. Imagine the recorded voice saying, "The trains are screwed again due to a cock-up in the Wimbledon area. Face it, suckers: you're screwed!"


helga_hansen 49F  
1987 posts
12/12/2005 10:55 am

At least when I drive myself into work every day, it's my voice saying "Face it, Helga, you're screwed!" when I hit the traffic jam!!


PS. Shall I bring a good book while I wait for that bus??

Love, hugs and kisses from ♥♥HH♥♥

brightblonde3 58F

12/12/2005 11:15 am

Actually, had the recorded voice blurted that out, it may have provided you with a good laugh. But that's easy for me to say, Q, cuz I wasn't the poor soul waiting for the train.


GB_Cple 66M/55F  
3042 posts
12/12/2005 11:58 am

I can remember , oh so many years ago , travelling from Streatham Common to Victoria, the annoncer at Streatham had a wonderfull Jamacian accent, that unfortunatly with the loudspeaker equipment of the day, was un-intelligable , and non Londoners did storm his office!

keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
12/12/2005 5:52 pm

They may not be using that last part in a message, but that is how the people are hearing it.

rm_dizzyandfun 48F
752 posts
12/13/2005 7:53 am

I prefer the last part of the message haha. I rebelled once for about 20 minutes...I put "F**k Off...I m on the beach" on my mobile phone answer machine. Only dared leave it on there for 20 minutes tho!!

Diz xx xx

AlbertPrince 57M

12/14/2005 10:16 am

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