The following is a copy of an email I’ve just sent to Thames Clippers
Tour Guides on a Commute
Imagine, if you will, taking the tube. Imagine that as you travelled on the tube, every stop came with a little story. “This is Baker’s street, known for the fictional character of Sherlock holmes, and then you will shortly be arriving at blah di blah station particularly notable for the quality of the melons found in the nearby markets. A funny story about melons…”
Curiously, I’ve just found myself in a remarkably analagous situation.
What situation is this, I hear you ask? Well, it seems someone at Thames Clippers has decided that it would be a really good idea to permit or partner with a company connected to the Olympic games who will delight and entertain us as we travel along the river with a constant narrative full of fascinatingly trivial and banal information about the places we pass.
The curious thing about tourist tracks is that they’re only even slightly tolerable if you are, in fact, a tourist. If you are a Londoner, and indeed someone who takes that boat as a regular part of their commute, they are extremely painful. Given that this is the situation that I and (as near as I could estimate) more than half of the other people on the boat with me at the time found ourselves in, I was not best pleased. Judging by the exasperated looks around me and
the desperate but futile attempt to raise the volume of conversation above the sound of the announcement system it seems vanishingly unlikely that I was alone in this.
Unfortunately when you’re on a boat with a PA system bombarding you with this narrative there is absolutely no escape from it. This has the consequence of taking what was previously by far the most pleasant way of commuting in the city and making it utterly unbearable. If this happens on any sort of regular basis I’m going to be forced to commute via an alternative method. Given that I’ve paid a rather large amount of money up front for a season ticket, and that besides I would much rather be taking the Thames Clipper, this possibility fails to delight.
Hoping this can be resolved.
David R. MacIver