There is nothing more British than the ability to keep calm and carry on. The ability to reduce a potential meltdown to a grunt and a letter is impeccable. As a girl of African descent, I am dramatic by nature *winks* however, since moving to the UK I have gradually become less expressive and very monosyllabic. I have perfected my “no eye contact” on the train and become great at not speaking to people. However when it comes to the underground or train services in general we are not quite good at keeping calm or carrying on when things go wrong. I am not sure if it’s the exorbitant amount of money we pay for the service or the fact that we are in such a hurry to get home and put our feet up after a hard day at work.
I was listening to one of Dara O’Briain’s comedy clips on YouTube last week. In it he made a joke about the london bombing, he said when most Londoners heard the announcement that there was no service on the underground due to a bomb the first thought that crossed most people’s minds was how they where going to get home and how inconveniencing it would be to their journey. At first, I almost wrote it off as a tasteless joke but on second thoughts I realised it was a true observation.
I know I have been guilty of thinking only of the inconvenience to my journey when I hear that announcement on the underground that there are delays due to a person under the train. I have though how selfish it is that people choose to be “under the train” during rush hour. I know I am not alone in these thoughts as I have heard people at the station voice similar opinions. Recently I watched a show on BBC about train services – Keeping Britain Moving. One of the customer service attendants spoke about how she sold a ticket to a guy who walked straight onto the tracks. The last thing he did was buy a ticket from her and ask how she was doing. He had a smile on his face as he purchased his ticket. His parents came to see her as they wanted to see the last person he spoke to before he walked onto the tracks. She had tears in her eyes as she spoke about it and so did I listening to the story.
Now whenever I hear that there has been a person under the train. I don’t think of the inconvenience to my journey but the person who felt they were at such a cross-road with no way out but to end it all. I think about the family they left behind who have to bear the pain of losing a loved on, wondering what drove them to the brink and I thank God for the family I have waiting at home for me. No rush I say to my self, you would still get home tonight. Keep Calm and Carry On.