Grumpy Old Man The Underground   Now living in North London, I am able to hop on a tube train and   be in the centre of London in less than 40 minutes from my house and, being of an age where Boris thinks my patience with the Tube network should be rewarded, I am able to travel for free. I must admit to taking full advantage of this perk and now use more public transport than I have ever done in the past fifty years!

Now the trains get very full during the rush hour periods and I try to avoid these times as much as I can and that way I usually get a seat for the 15/16 station journey home, but it is very frustrating to see the seats on the Tube clearly marked as for old, disabled and people less able to stand being occupied by a young person, either sex, while people who should at least be offered the seat are hanging on for grim death as the train whizzes between stations.

As with my recent rant about students, these people always seem to have their ears full of stereo headphones with some loud drum beat pounding out of them and, also like my previous post, seem totally oblivious to what is around them.

A recent example on a trip into town for an evening appointment and by Camden Town, the carriage was packed with very little standing room at all when a heavily pregnant young lady got on the train and was looking to sit down and rest her legs. There were two young lads sitting in the end seats and they did not look up or make any attempt to stand up and let her sit. She even had one of those jokey badges on saying “Baby On Board” even though, by the bulge in front of her it was obvious she was not overweight!

I decided to give up my seat to her as I was three down from the end and got up and indicated to her to come down, but before she had taken a step in my direction, a young girl had dropped her considerable sized backside into the space I’d vacated. Looking back, this girl was probably half the size of the pregnant woman, but was definitely NOT having a baby and it was more probably a few too many double cheeseburgers from Maccie D’s!

The fact she’d sat down eventually got the people around us interested and a woman opposite asked her to get up and let the pregnant woman sit down and her reply was “Why? This is my seat now!” and that got everybody involved even the two guys who were sitting in the reserved seats.

In the end she got up and said “This is my stop anyway, have your F******g seat!” and jumped off the train, vanishing into the crowds at the station before anyone could say anything else! The pregnant lady sat down, thanked me and everyone got their heads back into their reading and listened to their music as if nothing had happened.

Now am I the only one who thought this behaviour was unacceptable or am I just getting old and expecting people to have been brought up “properly” like the way my parents raised me? What are your views?

    2 replies to "Grumpy Old Man – The Underground"

    • Darren Hudson

      Hi Dave ,

      Interesting read and no your not getting old , to be honest I see more and more of this every day now and it’s quite shocking. It’s the way society is these days most people lack respect and good old manners these days , they se to be too self indulgent and selfish .

      More and more while travelling on public transport I see it where I’ve gave up my seat for elderly people and younger people just seem oblivious to it or just care any more .

      But I’m a firm believer in old fashioned values as I still open doors for people , say good morning and even Thank you to people .

      In my book it costs nothing to be polite and have some common courtesy , plus in the process you make someone’s day and also makes me feel better about myself for doing it .

      Also it’s even in the work place too , a lot of young people don’t want to work or even have the stamina these day. The wrong kind of work ethics I think .

      Don’t get me wrong not all young people are like this but it seems very few and far between these days .

      That’s my rant over ha ha !



      • DaveThomas


        Don’t worry about the odd spelling mistake or seven 🙂

        I must admit when I was growing up my parents drilled into me that it costs nothing to be polite and I have done the same to my children. We have traveled on the Undeground as a family and I have seem both my kids get up, with no prompting, and let other people sit down who need the seat more than them. It is really satisfying when people thank us as parents for bringing our children up so well.

        And have to agree about the workplace too! I did an apprenticeship with evening classes for that and a Saturday job to earn more money plus played football at weekends. Now kids seem tired just watching activity without joining in! My son works as a Waitrose baker 3 early mornings a week, does 2 days teaching in a school plus evening after-school sessions and runs a goalkeeper school so very busy. My daughter is also busy at her job doing lots of extra time to afford what she wants. Drilled in the work ethic as well

        And thanks for you rant with mine. Makes me feel better to see it is not just me!


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