Last weekend my heart was gladdened by the news… this does not happen often these days. Normally the news brings a sigh and a pained expression to me and the girl from six boats down faces as we listen to 6 Music and plot indie pop world domination. Normally the news is full of death, rape, fire and futile cut backs that penalise the wrong people, and that is just the football round up. This Saturday a little story broke, a little tale of people going out of their way, of love, of non bureaucratic thinking and mostly a story of how things could and should be.
A lady misses her husband, she misses his voice, a voice that used to remind us not to fall between the train and the platform across the Northern Line…. a voice that had recently disappeared, not only from our ears but of the woman who misses that voice more than anyone else. When she asked for a recording of the message was this lady told that due to regulations unfortunately London Underground regretfully can’t help her in this matter? Was a half arsed gesture made involving the wrong recording and an email MP3?… No!!! London Underground went the extra mile, they not only found the recording but reinstated the message at Embankment so she could once again visit the station and hear the voice she so misses. An unprecedented example of a big clumsy and under threat organisation going an extra mile.
We are desensitised in these times as people are too busy and too focused on their own survival, we are used to call centres in sunnier climes with scripts that must be adhered to. We are used to the computer not only saying no but also reminding us that payment is due regardless of service interruptions according to the small print and any mistakes made or responsibilities are blamed and passed to others who are unavailable and unaccountable. I know it might be a little cheap publicity, I would like to think it is not… but why can’t more things be like this, red tape slackened and people allowed to make judgement calls without the filling of forms and requests being escalated to the management teams… I don’t know, I am a hopeless romantic (in both senses) but to me this was a little example of how things can be just a little bit better without being costly or effecting profit… just people being nice and really nice things happening that bring a little joy… We are not machines and accordingly should not be treated as machines…. I AM NOT A NUMBER I AM A FREE MAN…
That said if you could all have a scrape around in your desks and drawers and under your keyboards and at the back of your wallets and in your socks and have your expenses down to me by the close of play today and I will be happy in a different and much less/more meaningful way…