Monday, June 19, 2006

test video

Had to go to the opposite side of London today to collect some goodies that I got from ebay. If this works I may post some more vids, perhaps some from a drivers eye view.

Anyway 10 points to anyone can guess where this is.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Health checks

I had a blood test last week with my local GP, and the results came back yesterday. Apparently my cholesterol level is a little raised with a reading of 5.13, I also have low blood pressure with an average reading of 100/60. This seems a bit confusing as I don't drink, I don't smoke, I do at least 20 or so miles a day cycling (today I did 41), I eat very little red meat, maybe once a month, and I haven't eaten take away food for about 5 weeks. I am a little overweight (about 8 kg) though, which I am trying to lose.

Any health conscious people out there able to give me some advice and what may be causing these readings.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Part 2

It started raining on my way to work this morning and I get completely and utterly drenched. I had water in my shoes and my Ipod headphones stopped working. Anyway, I managed to get changed and put the kettle on before we had our first problems. After yesterdays service I was hoping for an easy day, but it wasn't to be. The Picc. was suspended from Rayners Lane to Uxbridge because of signal failure and the District was suspended from Parsons Green to Wimbledon, also because of signal failure. Thankfully, the suspensions didn't cause too many problems. At 10:25 I was about to commence my break when the phone rang, and the LIA (Line information asst) gave us the news that they were preparing to suspend the entire District line and we had to detrain any trains in the area so they could run empty to the depot's. The line had a complete loss of radio communication and for safety reasons they have to suspend the whole line as the District don't have the staff necessary to double-staff the train cabs. The idea of a meal-break was obviously out the window. I then head down to one of the platforms and assists the CSA's and to give information to train operators and also to customers. Eventually the all clear came through with extremely severe delays to the whole line. Another 30 minutes overtime claimed as no chance of a break again.

Two days in row part 1

I got into work yesterday about 06:10 and the night turn supervisor wasn't in the office, and the office was being baby-sat by a CSA. On of our trains was stuck in the sidings and then the signals went down. I quickly put my bike away and got changed so my colleague could go home. Eventually we get that sorted out, so then the priority lay in getting the kettle on for the morning boost of caffeine. After about 40 minutes or so, I am about to head to the DSM's office for my 6 monthly P&D (performance & Development) interview, when the other supervisor calls me on the radio to inform me that Acton Town had lost complete signal control and that everything in or out of Acton was suspended. I remain on the platform and start to detrain whatever trains were in the area, and start assisting customers with their alternative routes. Loads & loads of complaints but not too much abuse for once. I felt sorry for the Heathrow customers who either had to take 2 buses or change at Paddington and get the Heathrow Connect which were accepting our tickets at the time. Eventually the powers that be decided to put in a free special taxi for heather customers from another station which did alleviate some of the pressure. I was unable to get a break, so I had to claim 30 minutes overtime instead.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Verbal assaults & threats

Unfortunately, because of engineering work, we have no service this weekend on the lines where I work. We do try to let the customers know well in advance by displaying posters at least a week in advance, it has been in the Metro newspaper everyday etc etc. Quite a substantial amount of our lovely customers either completely ignored the aforementioned information, or forgot. So they turn up at the station and normally one of two things happens:

1) They walk straight past the scaffolding, ladders, tools, the scores of contractors, posters and staff and go onto the platforms to await their trains.

2) They happen to notice all of the above, and utter various expletives to themselves and come and politely ask for and politely receive the information they require.

We also have a third category of people, who may initially do either of the above, then come and swear at our staff, threaten us and take it too personally as if LUL are only doing this engineering work to annoy them.

Just today whilst assisting on the gatelines and directing people to the replacement bus services etc, I have been threatened with a pitbull terrier, threatened to being stabbed and gutted, called a racist and too many verbal assaults and insults to count. I have a long 12 hours duty tomorrow, and I am not expecting to have any other staff, as my managers have neglected to cover the other duties. If that is the case, then I will be providing my service from the safety of the ticket office.


Normally I have very limited access to external internet sites at work as they are generally blocked by the firewall, websense. Not, usually a problem as I know how to get round it. One of the sites we can get though is BBC. Although I am not a major football fan, I try and follow the results of the world cup matches and maybe one or two of the England games, however the IT department has decided to disable the activex controls on the system and we are therefore unable to listen to the BBC radio commentary or watch the streaming live matches that the beeb is broadcasting on its site.

I was able to catch the first half of England lacklustre performance today by listening to the screams of the fans in the pub next door to the station.