Completely by accident I caught the penultimate episode of The Tube TV series which is currently being repeated on Reality TV. ("Delays, cancellations, overcrowding, unbearable temperatures, offensive body odour, aggressive commuters...If you travel via London Underground, then you are bound to have some experience of the above. .......We witness the complexities of running an over-stretched, under-funded and creaking network, and the efforts of staff to make it run smoothly."
It was quite weird as I'd just finished watching the hysterically un PC film version of TV "comedy" On The Buses, where Stan, Jack and the boys were trying to get rid of the new women drivers by putting spiders in their cabs and laxatives in their tea. And in one of those moments of perfect synchronicity the episode of The Tube was about two women drivers. Most of it was about trainee woman tube driver Jo and her test.
Jo passed and fortunately on passing didn't seem to face blokes like Stan and Jack. She only had the ever so slightly patronising comment of her boss "What I'm going to have to do now is sort you out a train", said with the same tone as sorting out someone a nice scarf to go with their new dress.
The best and bravest part of this was that we learnt about SPAD's or Signal Passed at Danger. This is basically the tube driver's equivalent of going through a red light. When this happens, you'll be pleased to know that the automatic brakes will go on, and this will inevitably lead to delays or a sharp stop and possible injury, depending on how far the tube got before the brakes kicked in.
Miranda Sadgrove, (top name), did a SPAD and like all the drivers that do one had to watch the SPAD safety video, with lots of scary sci fi sounding music and many nasty images of people being thrown around tube carriages.
Sadgrove rightly looked a bit ... well, er, sad, when watching the video, but afterwards philosophically mused "Everyone makes mistakes. I'm not a robot. If I caused a delay so what. It's better than killing people". Yep, you're right there Miranda it certainly is.
I so hope I get to go on this (a second series is currently being filmed, and there's a slim chance I may be on TV - the producers regularly read this blog). I will try for a comment like "Yeah, well, my blog, a lot people read it, occasionally, the odd image gets broken. The speed of download, can be a bit slow. So what. I'm not a robot. At least the bandwidth is maintained and people can surf unharmed and virus free". It'll make cracking TV.