There seems to be a problem with your network….

Can someone please explain to me why 3G connectivity and phone signal gets progressively shittier the closer to London my train gets?

What is the deal with that?

Maybe it’s because London is such a small little town with very few mobile phone masts.  Who knows?

Having been an ‘Orange’ network subscriber for many years, I was transferred to the new ‘EE’ network, which I believe stands for ‘Everything Everywhere’.  It should be rebranded to ‘Nothing Anywhere’ or ‘NA’, which is ironically appropriate.

I swear these wanker networks turned 3G effectiveness down to make the new 4G network appear better and faster.

Luckily for me I don’t try and occupy my time on the train with the likes of Facebook.  I mean, could you imagine how annoying that would be?  Pages taking forever to refresh, status updates not updating, posts having to be drafted 5 times because they keep disappearing due to ‘no network connectivity’.

Yeah, thankfully I don’t have to put up with that shit. 

In fact, come to think of it, my commute into work is always easy and uneventful.

angryphone

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Signalling a failure

This morning my train terminated after two stops due to some signalling failure further down the line.  

I wasn’t annoyed at all, considering I was running late this morning and had run around like a headless chicken trying to get to the station on time.  

Still, there was nothing I could do. My train was terminating and soon I was going to have to get off my warm, virtually empty train with the comfy seat, and stand out on a frosty platform to await a packed sardine tin of a train that everyone else was going to be getting on.  

But, as expected, the two people over the aisle, who clearly didn’t know each other, decided to bond by mutually moaning and whining.  

I could go into detail around the guy complaining about the price of tickets and the fact that he only needed to go one more stop blah blah blah…but it was what she said that made me smirk.  

“What I don’t understand is why they don’t just go back to manual signals. All these computerised electronic signals; all they do is break down”.  

A fair point, I thought to myself.  

It’s not like there are literally thousands upon thousands of varying types of signals up and down the country is it? That would suggest that, somehow, railway capacities, schedules and speeds have increased over the years…which is nonsense.

His reply was brilliant, if not a little understated,  “They just don’t have the staff”.  

Really? They don’t have, like, a billion staff members to man these signals day and night? That’s ridiculous… I’m writing to my MP.  

Surely there’s an opportunity here to tackle our unemployment issue in Britain. I’m sure there are loads of people out there who’d love nothing more than to stand out in the cold, right next to a live rail, risking being hit by high speed trains, for hours on end, for minimum wage.    

And will it be a set salary for this job? Surely it should be graded somehow based on geography? The signals at Clapham Junction are far busier than, say, Coombe in Cornwall.  

And what if someone falls asleep on the job, or is close to a high score on Angry Birds? Surely then it could be said that we have a signal failure…only this time with no advance warning sent ‘electronically’.  

Manual signals indeed. What next?

Should I wash my clothes on a mangle to avoid the inconvenience of a washing machine breakdown, or go to a library if my ISP let’s me down and I need to look up one of britains quietest stations to contrast Clapham Junction?  

Sorry love, you’re talking bollocks.

Posh nosh

Picture the guy opposite me on the train. In his late 40’s, got the whole jeans and sensible jumper/shirt combo going on. Imagine a slimmer Richard Curtis and you’re pretty much there. He’s reading his iPad so I haven’t heard his voice, but I suspect there’s a private school tone to his voice. The sort of guy who has children called Tarquin and Felicity, and whose wife is probably shagging the gardener as I write this.

A posh twat basically.

So why am I telling you about him? No particular reason; he’s just grating on me a little bit by what he’s doing.

Firstly, he’s covered in biscuit crumbs, like a gibbon with a packet of digestives. I understand that they can be crumbly, but for god’s sake man, brush them off. But no, instead he continues to wear them whilst opting to frequently slurp his coffee like a child with a bowl of soup. I have nothing against slurping hot coffee as it’s hot and therefore a full on sip will burn the lips, but this guy’s been at it for ages. The coffee is cold…like his wife.

This is not helped by the fact the train has stopped due to a signalling failure and we’re all plunged in that uncomfortable, awkward silence usually reserved for full elevators. A whole carriage full to the brim with people and all you can hear is ‘cough’, ‘sniff’, ‘rustle rustle’ (newspapers)….oh, and ‘slurp’.

Tensions are high. I might flick his nose.

Speaking of which, here’s the other thing he’s doing that I’m not keen on. He’s picking his nose. Thats right, picking his nose!!

This isn’t simply scratching it, no; he’s really digging in and mining for the green stuff…all with his little finger. Mmm, nice.

He then starts to roll his findings between his little finger and his thumb. Mmm, nice.

Once he’s finished excavating, he begins to slowly, but purposefully, flick it. Failing at first (due to stickiness no doubt), but persevering nonetheless. It’s at this point he reverts to wiping it off, either on the seat or himself.

Hang on, are they actually biscuit crumbs?

Also, as I starting writing this he reached into his satchel (yes, satchel!) and produced a banana. He then proceeded to eat it which ordinarily wouldn’t be worthy of mention, but remember this; we’re on a deathly silent train that isn’t moving.

He begins to munch the banana (insert private school joke here), and as he chews he does it with his mouth open so he sounds like stirring stodgy porridge.

I may beat him to death with the skin.

Connect you bastard, connect!

For someone like me, having a decent 3G signal is important as I like to write Facebook statuses (or is it Stati?) and/or blog entries whilst travelling on our nation’s joke…er, i mean trains.

So why is it so hit and miss??

It pisses me off that getting a half decent signal in London is as challenging as a job application form to a Jeremy Kyle contestant.

What exacerbates it further is the fact that I’m showing 3G with FULL signal and yet I’m still greeted with that little circling icon and the word ‘Loading’ next to it.

It’s lying to me. I know it’s lying to me.

“You’re not loading, you little turd” I think to myself, “and i’m going to prove it!”
So I go into my iPhone settings, switch Airplane Mode on, wait 10 seconds, switch it off again and like magic….full signal and 3G again. Only this time it actually works.

“Awesome” I say to myself (quietly of course, as I’m on the train and I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ who talks to himself and subsequently becomes the focus of someone’s Facebook status or blog).

So I write my musings, read them back, chuckle a bit, corect aany spleling miistekes, take out the comment about someone’s mum, proof read it again, reconsider the mum comment and slide it back in (well, it’s how she likes it), chek teh speling agian, and then post it.

Oh….nope…..no 3G. That’s because I pressed send at the PRECISE moment we entered a tunnel (insert mum comment here if you like). It’s just bloody typical that I get no signal at the point I need it!

Ah, we’re out of the tunnel now. Any minute I’ll get my 3G back. I mean, we’re not in the middle of Cambodia here; this is just outside London….

…..any minute now…..

…..any minute……

Aha! Signal!

Another tunnel.

Fuck.

Ok, I can wait. I can play Trainyard or look on faceboo….ah, no I can’t.

Ok, we’re out of the tunnel again.

….any minute…..

…..aaaaaaaany minute now……

Aha! Signal!

“Tickets please”

What? Now? Sigh, hang on! (Puts phone on the table and fumbles in his bag, then pockets, then bag again; finds ticket and shows it to the ‘cheery’ chap armed with his ticket bitey clip thingy)

“Thank you”
“Fuck you”
“Pardon sir?”
“Nothing….”

He walks away…

Ok, now lets post this bastard. (Presses ‘post’)

Circling icon…(deep breath)

Back into Airplane Mode.

Aaaaaaaaaand……..done!

I hope you’ve appreciated the shit I’ve been through for you to read this!

Signal failure…

Just been listening to the loud guy a table over from me on the train trying to have a conversation on his phone (using mic headphones…like a twat of course; who needs hands free when your hands are free??).

The conversation went:

Can you hear me?
Can you hear me ok?
CAN YOU HEAR ME??
(puts mic closer to his stupidly bearded mouth)
What about now?
(fumbles with mic) now?
Now? What about now?
Hello? What about now?
(mic even closer to mouth…It looks like he’s snogging his fingers)
Ok, I’ll call you later.
I’ll call you later.
I said I’ll call you LATER!
Later! Yes later!! I’ll call you…
(line must’ve gone dead)

I hate crap signal on a train, but today it’s pretty damn sweet. A 3 minute one-sided conversation about nothing but attempting to have a conversation.

What a tit.

A frantic half hour!

Had an email from the national lottery to say I needed to log in regarding my ticket for last night’s draw!

No 3G
No 3G
NO fucking 3G!!
What have I won??
Have I WON??
Still no 3G.
Aaaaaargh!!!
No 3G (breathe Dan, breathe)

28 minutes pass.

3G At last!!!!

£6.10.

Damn.