Apologies on the tube

1996 stock used on Jubilee Line by London Unde...
Image via Wikipedia

Every city probably has this divide on public transport. If you board at 8am, it’s full of people rustling their papers, cumbersomely trying to sip a Starbucks at the same time, and looking amusingly bright eyed as they contemplate another day of spreadsheets. Get on at 6.45, and the carriage is filled with men in fleeces with building company logos. They sit there, mostly with their eyes closed, looking quite resentful, tired and not exactly eager to get to wherever they’re going.

I seem to spend half my life getting from Northwest to Southeast London, and as we pull out of Bond Street station, I hold tight to the slightly greasy yellow pole, in anticipation of the sharp turn in the tunnel between Bond Street and Green Park on the Jubilee Line. The lady standing in front of me is completely absorbed in the Financial Times, and she falls backwards, into me. I can’t really steady her, since I’m holding a large coffee in my free hand, so in her attempts at regaining her balance, she knocks a substantial amount of coffee all over her cream coat, and some of it splashes back onto the sleeve of my grey wool suit.

She apologises, I apologise, in that way that one does when one is not at fault, but just sorry that anything happened at all. Her coat was completely ruined, but she was busy offering to sponge my suit. I felt bad. Her absorption had seemingly been caused by the article she was reading on oil hitting $100 a barrel.

So I got to work at 7.30, went for a run, went to a vendor meeting, wasted a bit of time walking between offices, got some arsy emails from someone whose process flows I’d forgotten to send (well, when I say “forgotten to send”, I mean “forgotten to even start”), so I spent a few hours knocking up something and wrote a “dog ate my homework” kind of reply. Then I worked on a presentation until 8 pm, went home and watched something on TV about class and education – which amusingly featured the office I had just left.

I’ll probably bump into the lady with the formerly cream coat for many years to come.

One thought on “Apologies on the tube

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  1. Someone didnt have a good day!
    Mundanity, yes. At work today I found out the Asia Macro conference had sold out, alhtough my boss hasn’t actually registered yet and he has invited some of his clients, so that wll be fun. I took the VAToff a mobile phone bill, then re-added it in a separate line on the expense claim. The guy who sits next to me was pleased that he had evacuated enough to have lost a good amount of weight compared to whenever their last weigh-in was. They have scales in the middle of the floor.
    The girl who sits on the other side talked about whether she might go to the cinema on her own, and about the fact that she can’t find a one-bed flat to rent with her husband, so they’ll have to sleep on various friend’s sofas until they find a flat. He’s arriving from Ecuador tomorrow night. He’s a surf instructor, she’s a 13 stone PA. Love will find a way.
    I saw a great dress online, the kind that made me think of drinking cocktails and having fun, and dancing, before I realised that my boyfriend is a banker, and thinks that life is about impressing people, making other bankers do what he wants, and proving that he can live up to everyone’s expectations. Thereby proving that he can’t.
    I was offered a new job. The porridge that I brought with me from home to save money boiled over in the cup so I bought popcorn and maltesers instead.
    I realised that I will spend the next few years substitutng being good at running for an interesting job.
    Oooh and Guy Hands lost EMI. That was funny.

    Like

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