Death on line sicko should be derailed
AS a regular train user I’m used to the frustrations of delays.
And more than once during them I have muttered something under my breath that most probably wouldn’t be appropriate in a church.
No one in their right mind wants to be stuck in an overcrowded carriage any longer than they need to be.
But on Friday a member of staff of First Great Western trains made an announcement that took the breath away of even the grumpiest of passengers.
The 16:36 service from London’s Paddington to Plymouth was slowed down because of an event between Slough and Reading.
Explaining there had been a death on the line and the delays caused by it, the female announcer added that the hold-ups were “because someone couldn’t be bothered to live anymore”.
this were understandably stunned.
Their Bank Holiday weekend was no doubt as important to them as to the rest of us, but was this in any way appropriate? Of course not. It was a statement that was beyond crass – words from the rotten mouth of an absolute cretin.
One has to hope the staff member involved is now in fact an ex-staff member.
But who knows? These days organisations like to trot out a press release offering a trite apology with a nod to the notion of “lessons have been learned”.
A young mental health nursing student, Esmée Phillips, was on board the train at the time and was understandably furious.
She took her anger onto Twitter, posting: “Having a member of staff compare a family’s loss to people losing out on holidays is a disgrace.”
I’d say it was even more than a disgrace. It was outrageous.
This flippant remark was after all about someone whose mentality was so torn that they threw themselves under a train.
Can you even begin to imagine the strangling torment that takes you there?
I live near a railway, and there has recently been a similar fatality involving a schoolchild.
These incidents never fail to shock to the core and God only knows what it does to a family.
To casually dismiss such a death as “because someone couldn’t be bothered to live anymore” is beyond all comprehension.
We don’t yet know about this tragic individual’s circumstances but surely their life – and the manner of their death – is of more consequence than people getting home in time for tea.
This column has written about depression before but it can never be hammered home enough.
It is the number one killer of men under 50 which silently affects a significant proportion of our population.
It is an invisible, vice-like grip that you can’t just “get over” or “shake off” and is as much of a killing disease as cancer.
I admire the passengers on the 16:36 who expressed their anger towards the train announcer.
Perhaps Western “bothered” sacking her.
First Great could now be