1. Whilst on a rush hour train (either pummel
ling into the big smoke or meandering around the big smoke) you get out a newspaper/engrossing novel/meeting agenda/scroll etc despite being a mere ten millimetres away from a fellow commuter’s face.
2. You, in order to read your chosen material bend yourself to an impossiblly acute angle, thus crunching your back in the process. Nothing must come between the intimacy of the written word and you.
3. You purchase a takeaway coffee (other hot drinks are available) take it onto the train, place it into one of those cup holder/side tables, get out your Blackberry, make your pre work phone calls and read/write your pre work emails, leaving your coffee for a bit. In undertaking all these ‘energizers’ you sit at a place where you can’t actually reach your coffee. Reaching your destination (most likely Landan!!) you depart the train leaving a still full cup of coffee on the nice side table/ cup holder.
4. You sacrifice a window view on the train for an aisle seat, therefore accomplishing better legroom for yourself. Yes, you’ve surrendered the rolling Chiltern hill aspect, but you’re a hardened city commuter and you’ve seen those silly efficiency sapping views a million times before.
5. In order to gain this coveted legroom for yourself, you will without exception force your fellow late commuter who wishes to sit next to you (and probably you think bask in your wisdom) to sit by the window; thus subjecting him/her to unrelenting leg crushing agony for an hour. You will show them no pity. A hardened city commuter never shows pity.
6. You will never, ever, ever under any circumstances talk to a fellow city commuters who sit next to you. Talking costs valuable business energy, energy that could have been used to make a spreadsheet.
7. You will never arrive for a train more than twenty minutes early. If you do then well done, you could have spent an extra ten minutes making a spreadsheet for Tony, the accounts guy.
8. You make special effort whilst on the train, and when having a business like conversation on your Blackberry, to project your voice in such a way as to let everyone know how much of a corporate powerhouse you really are. You will say such things as ‘My bi-lateral monthly price elasticity has gone up twenty percent, and tell Barbara I like tomato soup on a Thursday!’
9. You (through the medium of your blackberry of course) by again projecting your voice forcefully but gracefully will wish to tell the whole carriage of the success of your children, (who you don’t see because you’re too busy making spreadsheets.) You do this in such a manner as to suggest they have invented a greater alternative to the Blackberry (shock horror!) You will therefore utter such sentences as ‘Oh, super wuper duper darling!’ And, ‘Love you sweet ums!’
10. You get ready to depart from the train by standing at the automatic train doors at least 15 minutes (ideally 20, but who’s counting? You are, by creating a spreadsheet) before the train stops at your station. You do this because as it says in the Alan ‘sugardaddy’ Sugar book of commuter wisdom, Sir Alan himself will give the first one off the train a cookie.
11. You wake up one day and decide you’ve had enough of sharing your personal space ‘liberally’ with fellow commuters, and of Alan Sugar telling you you’re a ‘schmuck!’ You will consequently appear on ‘Relocation, Relocation, Relocation’ and be cajoled vigorously into purchasing a slice of ‘dream rural living’ in the village of ‘Hooton Barnaby.’
12. You wake up one day to the profound and perfumed reality of cowpats and the mutual resentment of you, by the real villagers because you and your fellow commuters have driven the house prices to biblically high levels, therefore forcing all the native villagers into tents. You therefore decide to appear on ‘Relocation, Relocation, Relocation’ again, craving ‘modern contemporary commuter living.’ The hardened commuter cycle is complete. Statistically, each commuter has between 6.152 and 17.849 commuter cycles in their lifetime, and as Dr Neil fox says ‘that is scientific fact, there’s no real evidence for it, but it IS scientific fact.’