Today was different. Tube services did not work obviously. It was shocking when I found out that Leyton station was closed entirely and most of the Central Line was not operating. Newspapers have warned citizens of the capital to be ready to face difficulties but no one really expected that it all would be sort of paralysed. For some people it seemed that bad for some it didn’t. The Evening Standard reported that the strike did not affect people as bad as predicted. Still, it took me double the usual time to get to work.
A good thing though is that all zombie commuters who just get on the tube, go to work, have lunch, work more, go home and watch telly were woken up of their trance. People had to start thinking about how to get to work. New streets were discovered as people attempted to arrive at work on time. It’s so easy to take everything for granted. When you look at it from that perspective it’s pretty good that there was a strike. People were thrown out of their routine which is good sometimes. Take the bike, boat or try even walking for a change. It’s not as you have to walk a marathon but a bit of walking won’t hurt.
On the other hand, people pay for a service and do not get it. Strikes are as far as I know mostly based upon either not accepting or not being able to understand a matter. Just like in France where people currently strike as well.
It is completely understandable that machines replace parts of our everyday’s life because it is more convenient. So, Oyster refill, renew, purchase machines replace people who sometimes sit around all day. Not all but many. Some won’t accept it. Especially, when you are affected yourself. You could even promise that they would be redeployed and trained to fulfil another function. This could for example be an implementation of 24/7 tube service during weekends. Loads of people would be needed for that and many would appreciate it enormously. You probably still will refuse to accept that you can be replaced by a machine and therefore protest.
Often people protest because the age of retirement is being raised. In France 60 will be replaced by 62 and that again in a couple of years will be updated to an even higher age. This is simply due to the fact that people are getting older. A government cannot pay their citizens if they life 10 years longer than 50 years ago. (Completely invented numbers which actually could be true but I was too lazy to look them up.)
Tomorrow, however, the strike will continue and I will enjoy it. I find new ways to work and since my boss told me that it is not bad if I came in later as a result of the strike I really don’t mind. People wake up! There are other things to worry about than arriving to work on time when over 7 million others have the same problem too. It will be tolerated; it is not your laziness. You should view it from an observers point rather than from a victim’s point of view. It is an opportunity you should seize and the best excuse to come late for work since you have all newspapers of London to prove it.