Derek Thompson, a 62-year-old train announcer employed by Southern Rail, has died from what coroners are describing as heartache. Thompson may well have said the word ‘sorry’ over a million times during his career.
‘When he said sorry he meant it,’ said co-worker, Terry Dodds. ‘We’re warned about this during training. One of the first rules of being a train announcer is not to get involved with the commuter, or actually give a shit when apologising or using the word sorry. You tell the commuter you’re sorry in a robotic voice, then move on.’
‘Luckily, I find it hilarious telling people that their train has been delayed,’ said another announcer. ‘But poor old Derek, I caught him in tears once after he’d announced the 12.27 from Charing Cross to Brighton would be delayed by 20 minutes. The guy was inconsolable.’
Southern Rail have put out a statement to Thompson’s family saying they were sorry, while also apologising for any inconvenience that may have been caused.