Easing the Discomfort of the Daily Commute

Random Acts of Kindness

I visited London for the Recruitment Expo two days this week and, as always when I visit the capital, was not only frustrated by the commute across the city but was reminded of the respect I have for those that tackle it every single day.

My personal daily commute consists of dropping my bag and laptop into the boot of my car and travelling 10 miles against the Cambridge traffic to a beautiful leisure complex, listening to Radio 2 (don't judge me) and parking right outside my office.

For those living and working in London there is a wrestling act to get to work in a city where it pays to know where to stand when the train pulls in, to have pointed elbows, be taller than your fellow commuters to avoid a rucksack (or an armpit) in your face and the patience of a saint.

Yesterday I boarded the tube on the Piccadilly line at Baron's Court to get to Green Park for a meeting. It was packed, naturally, and one lady became upset, trapped between so many strangers, she hung her head and tears welled in her eyes, barely noticeable except to three women around her who communicated with each other to enable each of them to adjust where they stood to provide her with some much-needed breathing space which allowed her to calm a little.

The train had problems before my last stop so I decided to walk the final stretch. I had no idea where I was going and asked a man with a nice face who said he was going that way and kindly walked me there, chatting about his work and how he enjoys those days in the week when it's his turn to do the school run with his two young children.

These are the commuters that have a reputation worldwide for being cold and detached from their fellow man and I feel after my experience yesterday that these folks need rigorously defending.

Clare Wight, Managing Director