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Under The Ground 4: Behind The Scenes

August 22, 2010

I approach the top of the escalator and head for the ticket office to renew my Oyster card for another week. It’s been a bad day, and of course the ticket office is closed. Inevitably for half an hour, just long enough to make it not worth while waiting. So that’s another 15 minutes queuing tomorrow. I pollute the north London air with loud and vitriolic curses about London Underground Ltd and its staff. Suddenly, surprisingly, the Station Manager turns helpful. He takes me furtively into the ticket office, where the clerk is taking a break behind a pulled-down screen. It’s like being invited into the staff room at school, or backstage at a concert. An inner sanctum of peace, taking me back to the 50s with its wooden drawers, ancient filing trays, words like ‘dockets’ and ‘requisition forms’ all around. They serve me in private and swear me to secrecy. As if I’d tell.

From → Under The Ground

One Comment
  1. jennifer permalink

    Oh, William! Renew your travel card online with a few mouse clicks. Though then you will possibly have less fodder for posts such as this. 🙂

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