Gameifying London Transport Comedy

I have an aversion to using the London Underground Subway – it’s the definition of hell in rush hour. But maybe Satan can have a sense of humour…

Underground comedy

Perhaps you have seen my video series on “Gamefiying London Transport” (click here to watch those) where I use game mechanics to show how much better it is not to go Underground.

Nevertheless, sometimes it cannot be avoided. And what a relief it was one day on a jam-packed commuter journey to discover a platform manager who turned the experience into comedy relief instead of droning on about moving inside, making use of all available space, letting others off and minding the gap.

A few excerpts from his MC routine on the tannoy loudspeaker to all commuters:

Why not let other people off the train first? Makes sense, keeps things moving, doesn’t it? Those of you who don’t are rude twats.

Alright people, I’m getting paid to be here. You’re not. So stand away from the doors or the train can’t move. I’ll get overtime, your boss will hate you for being late, and stupid. So stand away from the doors.

This train is rammed! There’s a train 30 seconds behind this one. Basic physics, you all can’t fit on this one, why not wait 30 seconds? Who of you is important that you can’t wait 30 seconds? Remember, I’m getting paid.

Absolute. Gold.

Epilogue – Pay It Forward

I was so inspired by the platform manager’s levity that later that same day the following took place where I work:

My tech lead walks up to my desk and asks the following:

You’re not running the test diagnostic application in multi-server mode off your machine are you? We believe it’s halting our QA process for the alpha build because it’s scrambling all the APIs.

I’m all like:

Um, no. Eliminate me as a suspect on the sole grounds I have NO idea how to even begin doing any of that sh*t. And if it is me, then my machine has been hijacked and I need you to kill whoever in the Matrix is responsible.

That’s how I deal with false tech accusations.

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