Meet the Southern Rail Managers

Big Cat Diaries goes to London Bridge

I was in the first class cabin of yer Southern Rail for the daily commute idly glancing through an article ref David Attenbore and his long career of wildlife programming when over the Tannoy our Guard pipes up – “Ladies and Gentlemen I thought I would let you know that today is ‘meet the managers day’ hoorah! and starting at 0730 at London Bridge Southern Rail have arranged some victims to talk to you about your experiences with the service”. “If you have any difficulty with finding them just ask one of the station staff (AKA Bob Crows Army) and we will point them out for you – however they should be easy to spot as they will be the guys quaking in their boots somewhere close to the front of the station – enjoy!!”.

It was with a feral glint in the eye that we got off the train and as a mass trooped off to see who these half wits were. It was then we spotted the herd of Southern Managers the young and inexperienced in the centre safely surrounded by wizened old gits veterans of countless fob offs and excuses hiding just behind the ticket barrier close to the relative safety of the coffee shop. Prowling closely by the predatory commuters look for their chance to cut out one of the youngsters and give him a right rollicking. One of the younger sub-managers paws nervously at the ground looking down and glances around for the escape route wondering why he’s here and thinking that if he had revised more studiously for the McDonald’s degree in Burgerology (BBu(Hons)) he would be safely inside worrying about colony forming units of bacteria and not here facing this angry mob. Ah look a diversionary move by one of the older females ‘can you tell me which platform is for Victoria’ – oh over there platform 13 Luv responds the Alpha Manager. Too late he spots his error and two predators move quickly in and split up the herd isolating one of the newer managers who immediately cut off from the safety of the herd is pounced upon by a gaggle of ferocious wildcats. One cannot but admire the team working of this experienced pack – from an early time in the management training school of yer Southern Rail junior managers are able to divert complaints and back peddle at a rate of knots, but under the relentless pursuit of this angry crowd he is quickly worn down and soon becomes an exhausted sniveling wreck. One particularly stern lady caught my eye, and caught the guy she was laying into by the ***** as she gave him a right dressing down about over-crowding especially when he asked her to ‘calm down madam’ – which I always think is a marvelous way to up the temperature (needs to revise his ‘Handbook for Conflict Management on Southern Rail’ (10th Edition) notes) and drew the response ‘what do you mean calm down you little oik’ – ‘ I’ll have your b***s on a stick’ you talk to me like that!

She walked off obviously set-up for the day and cheerily responded to a request to take a sample of a chunky chocolate bar as a free gift on the station concourse – ‘No thank you’, she said, ‘I’ve had my quota of protein for today!’