A perfect example occurred in front of my very eyes last week whilst I patiently waited for a train at the station. Having already discovered that the vending machine took exact change only and would consider no other alternative I found myself sitting hungry on a bench over hearing the conversation of some platform attendants which I’m sure you’ll have guessed is like an oral version of ‘the Sun’ newspaper . In fact I’m pretty sure these guys were editors in their spare time. One of them however was new to the world of platform managing and was swiftly trying to learn from his colleague before anything drastic happened resulting in the collapse of the entire station.
Innocently a man ran up to him and asked where the next train to Waterloo was departing. He responded by grunting and then declaring that if he was quick he could catch the one over on platform 4 which was just about to leave. Grateful the man ran into the distance over the bridge and away.
Once he was safely in the distance the new boy, who was grinning and obviously planning how he would tell such a heroic story to the wife was interrupted by his concerned looking colleague who tapped him on the shoulder and explained that that was the wrong thing to say. If the man slipped on his way to the train in his hurried state they could be sued for lots of the stations money. At this point I rose from my seat, took a running jump onto the tracks and bit the electrified metal in the hope that when I woke up I would have forgotten about that innocent and be in a place far away from a vending machine which demanded the exact change in order to cooperate (Incidentally I should point out that most of the items in the machine cost 75p, the amount I always perfectly carry on me, what an unlucky day)
The sad thing is, had that man actually slipped on the way to his train he most would have likely picked himself up, brushed himself down and headed for the nearest injury lawyers office to sue the bollocks out of the platform managers. And he most certainly would have won, and maybe got a TV performance on a cheaply made advert for it. This culture is the reason for our troubled nanny situation. People refuse to take the blame for anything. It always has to be somebody else’s fault. If a football team lose, it was the referee’s fault, if you miss the last bus, it’s the timetables fault, if you poke a lion in the eye and get mauled its David Attenborough’s fault for not making a documentary on lion poking warning you this sort of thing might happen.
If we want to stop being controlled then we have to take responsibility for our actions and not shift the blame elsewhere. For this to happen society needs to accept that mistakes will sometimes happen. Anyway its wet and slippery today and I’ve just mustered together 75p so I’m going to go to the station, buy a mars bar and wait for the inevitable hilarities to follow.