Skip to content


October 16, 2006
Is it just me being a grumpy old man?

I’ve been travelling to a certain large city by train recently, for work purposes.

In the last week, I have had to tell three people to put out cigarettes in the station, which has a “No Smoking” policy. Funnily enough, none of the station staff who passed by these transgressors seemed to be bothered about this breach of the rules.

All of them complied with my polite request and at no time did I have to resort to pulling out the old badge.

Earlier today, I was on the train when a group of schoolboys got on. They started running up and down the corridor and messing around with the doors etc. Not one person even looked at them. They pissed me off so I pointed out that they were on a train and not in a playground and they went very quiet and sat down. Again, no conflict and no need to make it “official”.

I know it’s a judgment call, but perhaps if more people took some interest in what was going on about them and opened their mouths, this sort of nuisance behaviour would be limited? None of the people I spoke to answered back – they were simply trying it on and getting away with it until I poked my nose in.

As an aside, when the schoolboys mentioned above earlier got off the train, they suddenly got all brave and came up to the window I was sitting at. One of them gave me the middle finger, with a cocky look on his face. This look dropped to the floor when I simultaneously took a photo of him with my phone and flashed the badge at him. He’ll be wondering what’s in store for him when he gets to school tomorrow. Shame that the picture came out far too blurred to even identify him as a human being.

Don’t tell him – let him sweat for a bit.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. ExtraSpecialCopper permalink
    October 16, 2006 17:03


  2. Calabar Gal permalink
    October 16, 2006 18:19

    YEAH!! He deserves the trauma. Bet he’s pissing in his pants and quaking in his boots right now.

  3. Anne Elizabeth permalink
    October 16, 2006 19:12

    Nice move !!!! I would have loved to have seen the shock on his face !

    Be Safe Out There —

    Anne Elizabeth

  4. cogidubnus permalink
    October 16, 2006 19:42

    Yes but the other side of the coin, and perhaps why some people no longer get involved…Two cases from personal experience:-

    1)wake up at 0330 and two lads are loitering by my side gate – quarter of an hour later they’re still there -worried as it’s not a difficult access to rear of houses – It’s generally a quiet area and we don’t get much trouble so I hurriedly get dressed, pop out the front door and (politely) ask lads to move on “as I’ve two children in the house and don’t want them woken” …this they start to do – alas there was a third I hadn’t seen and the bastard got me from behind – I got a good old kicking from all three, a beating with some kind of stick, glasses broken thrn manhandled/thrown over my front garden wall – yes the police came out and were brilliant, but nobody got caught – The wife points out it could’ve been a lot worse…they could’ve used knives and besides, I’m getting too old for this sort of thing – so if I see people loitering again again, do I (a) ignore it, mind my own business and hope they go away (b) go out and possibly suffer the same again or (c) put in what may well be a false alarm 999 call to an already overtaxed police force…

    Frankly I once thought as you, but now I’m not so sure…

    2) My mate travels in on the bus every morning – one day there were three slightly lairy yobs at the back of the top deck smoking, swearing and considerably upsetting a young woman sitting nearby – As a young bus company employee he feels obliged to ask them to refrain…which they do for all of five minutes, before starting on the verbals, throwing stuff at him etc…ten minutes later as he starts going downstairs to get off, his head is momentarily at foot level…guess what? Quite right, and then they stomped on him on the stairs before escaping – no cctv on this older bus so no chance of detection – not only has he changed travel times, I’m pretty sure he won’t be a knight in shining armour again in a hurry…

    You were saying…

  5. Stan Still permalink
    October 16, 2006 20:13


    Like I said, it’s always a judgment call. There are situations where I have kept quiet, where all my instincts are telling me to get involved.

  6. Donna permalink
    October 18, 2006 18:14

    I agree with cogidubnus. There are other examples I could add, but the sum of it is that unless you have the backup of being able to make it official, you’re more likely to end up as the official, and unofficial target.

    Oh, and depending on events in the comming months, Strathclyde won’t be the only ones facing discrimination charges. My third, and last open to me, attempt to join and make a difference will see the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. Let’s see what happens next.

  7. Sandy permalink
    October 31, 2006 16:20

    I had a similar experience some years back. I was sitting on a train, which was still at the terminus, not going anywhere. Two young lads get on, and one sits down opposite me and lights up. I tell, or rather, ask him to put out and he gets all cocky and abusive. I lose my rag, smack him in the face and a ruck develops.

    Result? I get off, as his mate starts to come back. The train doors close, and they go off on their sweet smokey way.

    I would say that, if I can’t hold my temper, I’d better either keep my mouth shut or just leave in future!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: