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Falling at the feet of the unfeeling

Now I have no problem with ticket inspectors. But when faced with a potential passenger injury, these particular inspectors just didn't move

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films | TV | Movies | Television | Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

On the southbound platform of Brockley station this morning, an unfortunate traveller, running for the train I was on, stacked it full-length and apparently face-planted into the contents of their bag. I winced in sympathy, but then as the poor unfortunate stayed prone and didn't move, my sympathy turned to anger as three Southern Railways ticket inspectors, at whose feet the passenger lay, didn't so much as twitch.

Now I have no problem with ticket inspectors. Automated barriers are easier -- and generally less surly -- but train companies have only just figured out simple ticketing, let alone Oyster, so we'll give them a while to catch up with the rest of the 21st century. But when faced with potential passenger injury, these particular inspectors just didn't move.

After we pulled out, the inspectors may have sprung into action like the cast of Casualty after a particularly nasty hang-glider/toaster accident, but if so, they have the response time of a Tyrannosaurus rex realising it's just been shot. There was time for another passenger -- sorry, customer -- to come forward, ask if the trippee was okay and when met without response, crouch down to see what was wrong.

This was more than enough time for Ticket Drone #1 to say, "Right, Ticket Drone #2, you check if this unfortunate passenger has fractured their face into a thousand pieces. Ticket Drone #3, you run and get the first aid kit, and I will continue our glorious mission of checking that these other unfortunates have overpriced tickets for a train that will probably be late anyway." Instead they kept poking at their ticket devices, far more likely thinking, "stupid customer; shouldn't have been running."