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A maddening announcement

March 3, 2020

On Sunday I went to Norwich, a journey that involved three trains, one underground and two overground. In the course of this journey I heard that grating, infuriating, barely-grammatical announcement ‘If you see something that doesn’t look right, please tell a member of staff. We’ll sort it. See it, say it, sorted’ no fewer than fourteen times. Yes, fourteen. FOURTEEN! What the hell is going on? The slogan is everywhere, on all rail networks, blaring out of loudspeakers at every station. And plastered all over posters too. It’s driving me to a frenzy of irritation. I last blogged about this a year ago – see https://brandonrobshawtheenglishlanguage.com/2019/02/20/see-it-say-it-shut-up/

– and since then it has got worse, not better. I try to share my irritation by making exasperated, sympathy-seeking faces at other commuters when I hear it but they rarely respond. Perhaps they don’t find it as maddenng as I do.

But I am warning whoever is responsible for this fatuous announcement. No one responds well to being nagged. If I do see something that doesn’t look right, there’s no way I’m going to tell a member of staff about it. I’ll keep it to myself.

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8 Comments
  1. Simon Carter permalink

    On the many occasions I’ve seen their scheduled services are not occurring and said something it’s never been sorted. See it, don’t say it, shove it is more their line.

    • Sheila Crozier permalink

      Great! That’s all that one can ask for.
      X

  2. Mark Brafield permalink

    I agreed with you last year, and I agree just as much this year. Commenting on Simon’s point above, what drives me mad is when a train is due to arrive, then the arrival time sneakily gets delayed minute by minute until – oops ! – the train disappears and is finally cancelled. This happened to me yesterday. I know that this blog is not (immediately) concerned with quantum physics, but it seems to me that there are two possible explanations for this. Either the train is actually going backwards in time and space (in the space of 10 minutes the delay increases by 15 minutes) or the rail company knew all along that it was never going to arrive, but hoped that we would not notice if it broke the news gradually. Why do we put up with this appalling service ?

  3. Simon Carter permalink

    My pet hate is London Underground’s announcement “There are currently delays on the Central Line, the District Line, the Bakerloo, etc, etc…there is a good service on all other lines”. Firstly, it’s not a “good” service – it’s the advertised service and secondly, it’s pretty cold comfort that trains are running to time on lines other than the one for which I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes.

  4. Sheila Crozier permalink

    Hi there,
    Just read this post about the See it. Say it. Sorted announcement. As someone who works in an underground station, your reaction made me gasp. Safety is paramount. We cannot be everywhere around the network so millions of passengers being alert and aware and doing their civic duty by telling staff when they see something untoward helps prevent hazards dangers, bomb threats and can ensure we get help quickly to vulnerable or injured passengers.
    I hope you get over the irritation and think about how your actions can help others by informing staff.
    Come and talk to we staff. We’re here to help!

    • Dear Sheila – I do agree, of course, that we passengers should do our civic duty, and if I did see something suspicious I would report it. But that constant, maddening announcement, over and over again- no, that’s not helpful. It’s just irritating.

      • Sheila Crozier permalink

        Great! That’s all that one can ask for.
        X

  5. Well like Thatcher said; “There’s no such thing as community.” The conservatives are all about the individual and with the lack of staff of numbers on the unsafe London Underground, they have left the public safty in the hands of the ticket buying public instead of in the hands of trained staff. You would only end up reporting a bomb scare over an intercom or via their website or the metropolitian police website. London has fallin big tike because of the Conservative voting clan across the UK. And now this corona is gonna Kill alot of the old conservative voters off; how ironic and iconic!

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