As the Southern Rail strike rolls into its second year, it is becoming apparent that there has been a sea-change in the travelling public’s acceptance of their lot. At first, the waiting ‘customers’ would become irate, irritable and uncooperative, but, as the delays have gathered momentum, a more contemplative, resigned attitude is coming to the fore: people are reassessing their career choices and decisions and the whole work/life balance issue is being called into question.
To this end, Southern are now looking to channel the introspective opportunities afforded to their clients due to ‘service revision’ and are offering a new, platform-based therapy service, aimed at assisting those members of the public through this trying time. Hastily recruited and trained counsellors will now be available on most major routes to assist this process, with preferential hourly rates being made available to season ticket holders.
‘We would be remiss in our duty of care to our valued customers if we did not attempt to provide support in these dark times of existential angst,’ stated a Southern spokes-bastard, manfully keeping a straight face. ‘Plus, the service also has the potential to be a valued revenue stream for the company.’
The RMT union said that it is in accord with this new venture, although it maintained that such sessions will only be acceptable to its members if they are a two-man operation: a trained counsellor driving a therapy session cannot be expected to open and close the doors of perception and acceptance at the same time. ‘It’s a safety issue,’ chanted the RMT representative in a hypnotic monotone.
Steve Langrishe, who had spent the last four days waiting for the 7:27 from Hassocks to Three Bridges, said that he was sanguine about the new approach. ‘I’m grateful that the delay has allowed me to undertake an intensive course of regression therapy to address my childhood isolation trauma,’ he said. ‘Although I do feel that handing out a serious twatting to the RMT leaders, Southern management and Chris Grayling would go a long way to expunge my current anger management issues.’