Sunday, December 14, 2003

My life at the moment is altered drastically by the fact that I no longer live in central London. Instead I have to commute in from the sticks – and such a requirement is a great pain to me. Worse still, I have to rely on the services provided by Thameslink and I am expected to give the utter bastards that they are enormous amounts of my funds simply for the privilege of going to work. I live inside the M25 and I still have to pay £10.60 per day – outrageous; and the fares are going up in January. And they are doing some extended engineering work on top of that, so the trains often turf the passengers out and expect us to get a connecting bus. Bastards – I have no recourse to a refund, as I only need to buy a ticket for a single day.

I would proffer the possibility that it is the single biggest cause of stress for all of those who have to manage such journeys. The worst thing is that if I treat the whole commuter thing with the contempt that is deserving of it, than I am punished. Respect the train is the law I am required yet loathed to privately invoke. Not as in, don’t scratch words into the windows or rip up the seating – only brainless morons with baseball caps, stringy hair and tracksuit bottoms do that. I mean don’t, ever, expect the train to arrive on time. As a general rule of thumb if you arrive early, the train will be late. Should you be on time, it will be pulling out of the station as you leave. Thameslink, being a total shower of cunts, run trains every half an hour, so be prepared to wait 40 minutes as you witness the annoyingly inconsistent information screen inform you of the next service’s imminent delay (if you’re lucky and it’s working). At least the service runs, albeit one train an hour, until 3am every day, that is EXCEPT ON SATURDAY NIGHTS. Bloody useful then.

A train, no doubt arriving late.

I do actually have genuine ethical problems with paying a company so much money to provide such a shoddy service. When British Rail were privatised by the Conservative’s (I prefer saying ‘Conservative’ to the supposedly derogatory term ‘Tory’ as the word, to my mind, strikes up a much more realistic feeling of fear; besides, Conservative cunts have reclaimed the word much like some minorities have done – who are not evil of course – examples being such words as ‘Nigger’ and ‘Gay’), the self-serving fucks claimed that creating many different companies would create competition which would keep prices competitive. I do not think so my middle to upper class friends – Thameslink holds a total monopoly over my journey to my work place. I cannot choose to take my business elsewhere and force prices to become more competitive. Instead I do what I can. I buy a single to an earlier station and catch the bus. It saves me £3 a day. Regardless the first hour of every day goes to paying for my journey.

Google Image Search for "competitive" produces:

If you regularly get the same train in the mornings, you will notice that many commuters often stand in exactly the same place on the platform every time. Then they head predictably for the very same seat they always sit in. This is the same method employed by people who walk on hot ashes. It is a form of self-hypnosis, a way of performing an action whilst turning off one’s mind to shield it from the torture. And if their face isn’t pressed up against the armpit of some fellow commuter, they might open up a book or peruse a newspaper. There are a number of commuters at my station that provide me with a simple game that helps me to alleviate Thameslink related-stress. I find the people who are reading either the Daily Mail or the Financial Times (obviously, the Daily Mail is produced by the spawn of Satan; the FT is the other choice because I enjoy tormenting people who earn a living making money out of the concept of money, which is basically a career which contributes absolutely nothing of any material significance to the world) and I observe them. Most have their spots on both the platform and on the train, so I occupy both these spaces. If they are a Daily Mail reader I stare at them whilst they read from an unfamiliar seat. It is greatly relaxing let me tell you.

The FT readers are partly the type of people at fault for the state we are in now. You see PLC’s – companies who are owned by the public who hold shares – are the cause of much unnecessary suffering in today’s society. Perhaps some would see this as a political point, but I see this as simple logic, regardless of the politics. You see shareholders, who usually know nothing of how their company operates, demand profit every year, which makes demands on the company to do the following: Firstly, to diminish the quality of the product or service. When it is a food producer, this is seriously bad, if it is a train operating company, this causes bastards like me to torment readers of overly moralistic right wing dailies. Secondly, to treat the staff like shit. Pay them less, lay them off, take away benefits, and slash the Christmas party budget, anything to produce a profit. Thirdly, ignore important regulations that might limit productivity. If it is cheaper to pump sewage into the sea then fuck it, the fiscal year ends next month. What did fish ever do for us?


Yet it is the shareholders who lose out in the end. Everyone gets poorer services and products, including the members of the public who hold shares. They have to give their babies mass produced baby food as well. The company they work for who may be owned by someone else (or themselves) may sack them, transfer their jobs overseas, or give them a lesser pay rise just to ensure some shareholders get their yearly profit. As a result the whole economy suffers. Everyone gets poorer – except the rich fuckers who live on nothing but the stock market. They just get richer. It is an oft-quoted statistic but 5 per cent of the population own 95 per cent of the wealth, but at least a good 50 per cent of those have to eat the same poor quality cheaply produced shite pumped out by some food conglomerate.

Is it just I or is it just a tad warped to have businesses that exist in order to make money rather than a product? The only beneficiaries of this are those at the top, and guess what? They invented the whole bastard idea!

Coincidence or cuntery?

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