The Tube complainer who got a fuller response than he hoped for...
If you’re a Londoner, you might be feeling some pain today thanks to the Tube strike. Perhaps you haven’t bothered even trying to get to work, such is your reliance on the capital’s network of underground metal snakes. If that’s the case, you might like to spend part of your day off reading about an email battle between a man and London Underground.
That man is writer Stan Cattermole, or Graham Pond as he was calling himself at the time of the correspondence, back in 2001. Graham was stressed at the time, and sick of the incompetence of the Tube network, he fired off a long, long email of gripes to London Underground. Choice phrases include...
“I was on one of your cattle-truck trains this morning and I screamed.”
“...you are driving me mad, you are bleeding me dry and you are making me want to kill”
“The poor quality of your service is a serious problem and one which sooner or later will lead to violence”
In reply, Graham received some vaguely humanistic replies to his gripes from Patrick Green at the London Underground customer service centre and a vaguely humorous game of email tennis ensued.
That was until Green accidentally replied to Graham while also including a series of emails to his friends and colleagues, all about the ongoing battle of wits he’d been enjoying with the irate passenger.
Graham (clearly a man with too much time on his hands back in 2001) then called out each and every one of them in an email sent to the entire group. Much ignoring, covering up and back-tracking then followed as Graham’s subsequent emails were more or less stonewalled.
That was almost a decade ago, but Graham has only just decided to recount the tale, as much for the amusement of frustrated Tube passengers as anything else. Happily, the post has gone viral and there is talk of the guilty email gossipers involved being smoked out by the good citizens of the internet. The fearsome name of 4Chan has even been mentioned.
Watch this space for further developments – or at the very least have a seat and enjoy some beautifully-crafted complaint emails from a man who was on the brink of cracking up.