These days I work in an office in St James’ Park which lies between Westminster and Victoria in London. I live in South East London and travel into work on the underground. Most days, those journeys are soulless boring trips through the tunnels beneath the great Metropolis. To make matters worse, the people I share those journeys with are mostly either annoying, rude, ignorant or unhygienic. Occasionally, they’re a combination of all those things. You may have guessed that I don’t really enjoy my commute very much.
Yesterday, though, was a rare exception. I was travelling in to work in the morning and it was a little quieter than usual. My guess is that a lot of people had decided to get a head start on the bank holiday weekend. So, for a change, I had a seat. I didn’t have a paper so was doing the usual thing of listening to my iPod while avoiding all unnecessary eye contact. I worked my way through the overhead adverts, studied the tube map for the millionth time, then read the little sign about being sat in a priority seat.Again, I’ve read it a stack of times.
It was then, though, that things departed from the norm. Because I spotted a little sticker below the normal sign. At first glance, it looked official. The same corporate font, the same colouring. But the wording looked anything but normal. Because it said
Peak hours may necessitate that you let other people sit on your lap
Not the usual Transport for London signage! And then I spotted that it wasn’t quite the same shade of blue. Someone had taken the trouble to replicate a sign to match the official ones and had stuck it there just to make people laugh and smile. In an environment where there’s not a lot to laugh and smile about! Only a handful of people are ever going to notice that sign. Just a tiny percentage of the total passengers on that train. But those that see it will all be cheered instantly. Genius! So I thought I would share it with you all. Got some funny looks taking a photo of it, but here it is for your delight and delectation.