The most annoying types of London commuter

London tube station

Board any London tube train during rush hour and I can guarantee you’ll come across one of the following people:

The squeeze and leaner

There is mathematically and scientifically no room left in the tube carriage. Yet this optimistic opportunist will take a look at the heaving, sweaty, compacted mass of bodies and think “yeaaaaahhh. I can squeeze on there.” They take a step into the carriage, their toes teetering on the edge and they lean, trying not to make eye contact with the people whose internal organs are being squished into oblivion as a result. Mate! Just get the next one!

The “move down” brigade

These clowns take it upon themselves to shout down the carriage ordering everyone to move down, with scant disregard for the hidden short people, luggage or guide dogs that might be taking up the space they feel is rightfully theirs.

Yes, sometimes there is a microscopic area of space that hasn’t been completely saturated with human beings, but bellowing uncouthly down the train isn’t likely to make others cooperate.

The person with luggage

Little dog pulling massive suitcase

I strongly feel that a rush hour train should employ the same strict restrictions on luggage as those imposed by budget airlines. If you can’t hold it on your lap it’s too big. I’m sick of having to stand while an Antler wheely case gets a seat.

The noise pollutant

Craig David born to do it, headphones

I thought that those Craig David Born to Do It style headphones were noise-cancelling. MYTH BUSTING KLAXON: THEY ARE NOT. A good percentage of them aren’t anyway. I don’t want to listen to Ed Sheeran at the best of times, let alone via the medium of tinny secondhand sound wailing out of a fellow passenger’s cheap headphones. Here are my requests in order of priority:

  • Turn it down. And/or:
  • Get better headphones and/or:
  • Stop listening to terrible music.

People with the black lunggiphy

If you’ve got the plague, then for heaven’s sake take a sick day. Don’t decide to take a busy train, then stand there snorting and grunting, coughing and wheezing like a farmyard animal. It’s disgusting, it’s spreading germs and let’s face it, you’re probably in some made up job anyway and are unlikely to do anything remotely important when you get to your destination. Believe it or not, the Earth will carry on turning without you for a day: STAY AT HOME.

The time waster

As the train approaches a station, they shuffle in their seat, put their book away and start staring expectantly out of the window. Then when the train comes to a stop, THEY DON’T GET OFF. You have already mentally sat down and you end up in their lap. Their fault.

And finally, for reasons of impartiality I’ll add myself to this list:

The over-the-shoulder reader


In my defense I don’t take my own paper because I don’t want to spend my commute reading the Metro. It’s rubbish and it makes my fingers all inky. But sometimes, before I really know what I’m doing, I find myself engrossed in someone else’s paper. It must be incredibly annoying, and it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed; once a man asked if I was ready for him to turn the page and another time a lady offered me her copy. For all those unfortunate souls who end up sat next to me, I can only apologise.

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4 thoughts on “The most annoying types of London commuter

  1. Oh my God yes! All of these things. I’ve written blog posts about those horrendous trolley suitcase things. Love your blog!


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