From a disgruntled passenger
What with my busy schedule in London I spent a fair amount of time negotiating the tube, and South West Trains. Never mind the gap, while travelling by train I had to contend with the following announcement:
“This is a passenger announcement. Beggars occasionally board trains, and ask for money. Please do not encourage them by giving any. If you see a beggar on this train, please tell a member of staff.”
A “passenger announcement”? I noticed when I was in the UK that the Brits (recently?) seem to have developed an annoying habit of stating the bloody obvious, at least when it comes to officialese. And “beggars”?! It beggars belief… I suppose being PC isn´t that high on Londoners´agenda, considering their newly elected mayor.
Having to listen to this announcement roughly every 30 seconds (or so it seemed), was certainly just as intrusive (albeit in a different way) as any number of people asking me for money. (And I used to travel by train in Cape Town, so I have also experienced the latter.)
My levels of irritation rose to such heights that I took to scanning the carriages for anyone who looked likely to approach me for money, just so I could defiantly give them all my small change. There were people snogging, and reading, and talking too loudly on their mobiles, and reading, and drinking beer, and reading. But no one ever asked me for money, which was perversely disappointing. Time to can that announcement, methinks.