Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Reflections on a strike

The tube unions were on strike yesterday. They oppose plans to reduce the number of staff in ticket offices.  I suspect they have a point but as usual their tactics hit their customers and alienate them. I had plenty of work that was suitable to do at home so home was where I stayed, checking the tube website departure boards from time to time in a form of schadenfreude. The next strike is due in a month and I will do the same (although some trains did run on the Met and Bakerloo so it may be feasible to get into work anyway).

Working from home is a strange feeling. With the broadband connection, email and document sharing works just like being in the office but there is no buzz or backchat, nobody offering to make tea and always a slightly guilty feeling that one is not at one’s proper desk. Never mind all that, I managed to do what I had set out to do, and redesigned the code behind a couple of reports in our accounts system as a bonus.Coming to work this morning as usual, there was a nice comedy of manners. A man was slumped in one of the front seats, head right over on his knees, snoring gently from time to time. He was not visible from the doors so people kept boarding, moving swiftly up to what seemed like an empty seat, then recoiling as they encountered the slumbering form. But nobody bothered to wake him or to sit beside him (he may have been drunk and reeking of alcohol; I didn’t get close enough to find out). I wonder how far he went or whether he was woken on arrival back at his departure point

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