Thursday, August 06, 2015

Tube Drivers vs Bus Drivers

Once again everyone within the M25 stressed and over-reacted about having to consider an alternative route to work, or (if my office is anything to go by) everyone chose to work from their sofa while in their PJs (I wish I was on my sofa in my PJs).

This morning there were less people, less moaning and everyone seemed in pretty good moods, it was tres nice; however whenever anyone does mention the strike the first topic they go to is that the Tube Drivers are well paid and do very little on the grand scheme of things. I don’t think that we should even be talking about them, I think we should be discussing the people who step up and work extra shifts and cope with added bollocks due to the strikes, therefore I am dedicating this post to all of those people.

This morning I saw:
  • The Police directing, advising and managing people, enquiries and bus queues (a nice little extra  line on the CV under ‘crowd control’, ‘bus queue management’, it’s a skilled job and someone has to do it). Well done to the Police.
  •  National Rail Staff (and potentially some TFL workers) were out in force at Victoria Station (and probably elsewhere) handing out alternative travel leaflets and advising us ‘lost London idiots’ on how to cross a road and not get run over. Well done you guys!
  • BUT, most of all I want to send out a HUGE thank you to the Bus Drivers. Over the years I have often pondered on who has the shittier job: Tube Drivers or Bus Drivers, and I always come to the same conclusion, Bus Drivers. They have to contend with the general public face to face, the general public who are still trying to buy bus tickets with cash, who are drunk, who are morons, who are rude and demanding; anyone who has worked with the general public (in a shop, bar, at events, etc.) can contest that we are generally dumb selfish arseholes, this in itself is an awful prospect and something the Tube Drivers don’t have to content with during their average working days. Add to that, suicidal Cyclists, who think they are participating in the Tour De London, and moronic Pedestrians, who think that the bus won’t hit them, ever; Taxi Drivers who believe they rule the roads and, once again, the general public who drive cars this time, and have no idea where they are going and you’ve got a Godly awful job. Then add that their routes can change at the drop of the hat and they’ve got to just go with it, say what?! And during industrial action by Tube workers the bus companies put on more services, BOOM! We’ve got ourselves some people who need appreciation, kind words and a MASSIVE shout out!

So to all your grumpy Bus Drivers out there, and we know you’ve every right to be grumpy (look at the list above), we appreciate your efforts and feel you deserve some mega London love, instead of the usual night bus’s drunken passengers trying to pay with their burgers and leaving you vomit as a memento! Keep up the great work!

PS I am sure there are 100 other groups of people who I should be thanking but there is no need to go over board with this post...however, great work guys and gals!

Monday, August 03, 2015

"Pregnancy Sensitive" - The Great Post-Miscarriage Condition

One of the biggest problems with having a miscarriage is that people who fall pregnant (whether intentionally or by accident) tip-toe around you, making you feel like a white elephant with leprosy.

People expect you to be "pregnancy sensitive" and therefore unable to be happy for others who have something which you also hope to have one day, which is all very frustrating. I won’t lie and pretend that after my operation that I immediately wanted to be around babies, pregnant people, children or people who have had children, as I didn’t, but it wasn’t because I was bitter or jealous of them, it was because they were walking, talking reminders that my genes had failed and that I was once again sent back to the start, delayed. They reminded me of the endless hours waiting to be told by a surgeon that the pregnancy had failed; the pamphlets and softly spoken ‘buzz’ words the nurses used and of the nervousness just before my operation…something I understandably wanted to forget at that time.

And, I am not going to pretend that when one of my closest friends told me she had fallen pregnant without meaning to (she had been told at the end of last year that she would struggle to fall pregnant due to a medical condition), that I wasn’t a little upset but I was also ecstatic for her, she had something that she had been told would be difficult to achieve. She had something which she hadn’t wanted, just yet, but did want; she and her husband now had a future that they probably (and I’m sure they would agree) would have continued to put off, as the timing wasn’t right…they also had something which could have been extremely trying and hard for them to have gained (when they had finally found the right time). They’d been spared all of that upset and delay and that is something to be happy about. Yes, I was initially upset (which I felt dreadfully guilty about) but it was more to do with the fact that my child (had it my original pregnancy worked out) could have been close friends with hers and we’d have something to discuss and share, I’d be able to answer questions and advise her. And I felt as though I had been classified as obsolete and irrelevant...obviously when I fell pregnant the second time round I was over the moon, I got the chance to share this experience with one of my oldest friends!

We all know how that worked out, but that didn’t mean that I was jealous or upset about her pregnancy, that didn’t mean that I wouldn’t speak to her about what happened to me, if I had wanted to. I couldn’t have been happier for her and I still am. I think when you struggle to get and remain pregnant, you are more aware of how difficult it is, therefore you have this joy for others…yes, you feel a tiny pang of ‘oh great, another pregnancy to remind me of my failed ones’ but that lasts for about 5 seconds before you swallow it and fill yourself up with joy and hope.

Regardless of this, I have had someone announce their pregnancy to me and immediately change the subject to my upcoming / unplanned wedding…; I have had someone not tell me in case something happened a second time around for me, so I would feel able to approach them about it, if I felt the need (obviously meant with the best of intentions but this made me feel as though I was viewed as incapable of reaching the intended outcome, resulting in the feeling of betrayal), among their other numerous reasons; and I have had someone console me on my second miscarriage who totally avoided telling me about the fact they were 12 weeks pregnant, due to awkwardness, making me feel as though I had three heads! And let’s be fair, it wasn’t as though I wouldn’t have found out eventually…I mean, six months later out pops the topic you avoided and that makes for some scratching of heads and confused facial expressions!

We white elephants with leprosy are aware that just because we have had issues, this will not result in the world stopping others from falling pregnant until we feel able to deal with it; we know that people will continue to receive said news and we know that this is in no way a reflection of our short comings. Yes, there are some of us who it may be best to tell over the phone while they are at home, as they will need a few minutes to compose themselves but even they will be elated for you. Just because we’ve had some setbacks or may need to approach parenthood from a totally different angle to you, this does not mean that we are also incapable of sharing and celebrating your news, I feel it makes us more capable.

So, in light of this people of the world, I feel that I need to give you some advice: Yes, be aware that people who have struggled to fall pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy may be a little sensitive about the subject, you may even get a couple of tears, however these are not directed at you (they are internalised emotions which will not desist from many moons ago). BUT we are also very happy for everyone who does fall pregnant and will want to ask all the usual questions: When are you due? Will you find out the sex? When is your first scan? etc.. and will continue to do so. We will also want to be updated on the progress and the stupid names your partner has suggested, as why shouldn't he want to call the child Balthazar Guthrum Rollo (partially one of Rowan's own suggestions)?! And, when that little bundle of tears, shit and vomit does pops out, we will also want to cuddle them and to hear all the gruesome details of childbirth. we are still human after all!