POSTED ON IN HR

Observations of a train commuter

1 year ago

Forget The Girl on the Train, I have witnessed so many incidents I could write a series of books.

  • The Strategists – they have worked out exactly where to stand to get the best seating opportunities
  • You see the same people every day, more than your loved ones yet you don’t make eye contact or small talk
  • Sometimes train relationships develop, more so when you join forces over how terrible the service is or how you will ensure that neither of you falls asleep and misses their stop
  • I have many a ‘train friend’ and we often meet up with other train associates that take over a carriage on a Friday evening – we never see one another outside of the train
  • You get to hear really juicy gossip whilst people are on their phones
  • The men that feel the need to open their legs too wide – it’s never THAT necessary!
  • When you save a seat and have to tell at least 15 people that your friend is on her way – then have a full blown row about how you can’t save seats
  • The age old dilemma of giving up your seat for someone who looks pregnant but you don’t want to offend
  • That chivalry on trains doesn’t exist – it’s a dog eat dog world out there
  • When you run for the train (perspiring heavily) just in time for the doors to shut and make out its not really a big deal
  • That some people should be more attentive to mouth hygiene, how can it be that bad first thing in the morning?!
  • You get to see how people look and sound in their sleep, unfortunately
  • Putting on a very drunken ladies shoes, picking up her bag, carrying her off the train and putting her in a taxi
  • The joy of falling asleep on one of the last trains home, to awaken two hours later having done a shuttle run and have no trains to get home
  • Overseeing a man who must have been late 60’s text someone who clearly wasn’t his wife a naughty message whilst sitting next to me, it wasn’t pleasant
  • Seeing a lot of confidential company data on laptops
  • Understanding how many annoying habits there are, including eating an apple – which results in apple ‘juice’ hitting a fellow unknown commuter
  • That loud music can cause full blown fights
  • Seen a man so drunk he fell asleep standing up, fell over, and landed on a poor sober commuter
  • Having a whole carriage sing Oasis’ Wonder Wall
  • When a train gets cancelled due to ‘leaves on the line’ or a ‘horse on the line’ and seeing 5% of the train having a breakdown
  • Trying to convince your husband to take home a drunk commuter that you insist is a friend (based on the 50 minute train journey)

The worst train incident I have ever experienced has to be…I was sitting in a four seater with a table in front of us, I was next to one of my many ‘train friends’. The chap in front of me sneezed so hard and despite covering his hand the snot phlegm landed on my hand. This is hard for me to remember. I almost puked, my train friend almost puked – and to add more horror to this story, the chap next to this guy who just violated my hand felt it was his duty to come and rescue me by having the loudest argument ever at how disgusting it was, if the ground had opened I would have buried myself deep down.

So why am I still doing this after 11 years? Because London is the land of opportunity, so many doors can open here. You meet so many different personalities and you have many great locations to visit. Every day I walk over London Bridge (apart from when it’s wet and windy) and admire the view and think how lucky I am to experience one of the World’s great cities. The experience beats working locally – when you see the same faces and hear the same stories 365 days a year.

Find out more about Square One Resources

We are hiring! Join us at Square One

What our clients say about us

European Recruitment Manager, icon Clinical Research GMBH

Square One Pharma has been a key supplier of ours since 2004. During this period we have always found their staff to be highly professional and they have delivered exactly what we have asked of them

Senior Clinical Research Associate, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals

I found Square One Pharma very helpful in assisting me to source a contact freelance CRA for one of my projects. James worked around my schedule to book in all the interviews and offered me the Boardroom in the Square One Office in London for the meetings. As a result of James’ professionalism and Business Acumen I was able to successfully hire a CRA that satisfied my specific project requirements and scheduling hence giving me the flexibility that I needed. I would recommend Square One to plug project needs very quickly in an efficient and timely manner and I would use their services again in the future if such a need arose.

Studio Manager, Avvio

We have used Square One several times over the past year, and have found them to be efficient, quick to deliver suitable candidates and mindful of budget constraints. Within tight time lines they have always provided at least 2-3 very good CV's to read through/interview and have taken into consideration our location. Square One understands our market sector very well, which makes ut very easy for us to work alongside them.

Project Manager - EMC

Square One provide us with contract technical resource - we only ever use two agencies and Square One are one of them. They always seem to get the right people for us. The main reason that we continue to deal with Square One, is they understand what we do, are prompt polite and return calls!! Additionally we know that we can trust Square One and they can trust us.

Pace - Study

Pace is an Oracle e-business end client that provides the latest in digital technology hardware. The client required Oracle resource to help them work on system enhancement projects required to run simultaneously to enable Pace to be in a position to upgrade in 2011. Pace’s challenges on this project included: • Rates; • Location; • High demand on top performers to comply with these parameters; • The mind set and character of the individuals resourced; and • Multi projects running at the same time with demands on deadlines. Pace’s Hiring Manager said, "We know what we can hire at these rates", plus stiff competition from rival suppliers during tight market times…” We have provided contingent resource to Pace over a period of 5 years. However, there has been a volume surge in Pace’s resource requirements recently and Square One has provided successfully against every single requirement. At the project peak this year, we had 10 contractors on site.

Teamsolve - Study

Teamsolve is an Oracle e-business Gold Partner, whose practice areas are based on database support and remote e-business best practices. Location: Derby Over the past 5 years, we have placed 84 Contractors (half of these Contractors’ contracts are extended repeatedly) with Teamsolve and have outperformed their original suppliers through consistent delivery of high quality resources; this has led to us becoming a Trusted Partner to Teamsolve, who have awarded us lead vendor status. We do not supply Teamsolve on long term engagement i.e. 3 to 6 months plus. Due to the nature of their business they only require Contractors for 1, 2 or 3 day engagements. As we are committed to supporting Teamsolve in achieving their business objectives, we put the same effort into successfully resourcing for these short term engagements as we would do the long term ones.

RCUK - Study

RCUK’s is the largest implementation of Oracle R12 in the UK. Square One was the most successful supplier of contract resource to this project, with 25 Contractors onsite at its peak. The location, Swindon, and the fact that this was a public sector project meant that this was a challenging search as most Contractors had anywhere between an hour and 2 hours commute each way; also the Contractor’s daily rates were lower in comparison to commercial projects. Due to the Square One’s extensive knowledge of the Oracle application candidate base in the UK, we were able to find candidates who not only committed to the commute to Swindon, but also to seeing the project through to completion. This is demonstrated by the continued low attrition rate of our placed contractors, despite the market showed signs of improvement.

Development Manager - TK Maxx

Square One has always managed to find me the right people for the job, and invariably faster than other recruitment agencies – sometimes within the same day. I have also appreciated their openness and good service – regular check-up calls to see how the contractors are doing in the first couple of weeks of the contract, as well as full disclosure of the margins they are making, and what the contractors are receiving.”

ERP Support Practice Manager - Vertex Data Science

Contract and Permanent Oracle E-Business Suite Consultants from Square One have been key in supporting Vertex through a number of ‘Greenfield’ implementations. As testament to Square One’s specialist Oracle skills I have hired over 20 contractors from them and a number as permanent employees.

IT Manager, The Global Fund - Switzerland

It’s a pleasure working with Square One. They proved themselves to be a quality provider of Oracle contract resources. They are a responsive and personal recruitment company, who take the time to get to know both their customers’ business environment and their specific needs. They take the time to understand the role and the team into which they are placing people. This means that more often than not we see candidates who are technically qualified for the role are also a good personality match. In addition they maintain excellent relationship with me.

Delivery Operation Director, Oracle Corporation

Square One has been a key supplier in meeting Oracle's additional resource needs. We receive an excellent service and have contracted over 100 contractors from Square One covering: E-Bus suite, Oracle Core Technology and PeopleSoft since 2005. Square One is a true specialist in its field and shows a flexible and mature approach to both delivery and account management

Project Manager - WmMorrison Supermarkets

It took a huge amount of work to source a PeopleSoft Time and Labour candidate with the correct skills and right to work in the UK. Square One worked tirelessly to get us the right candidate. ...........settled in very well with both the project team and the business....have received views from members of my team, complimenting his product knowledge and fit within the group. I'm truly impressed.

Oracle HRMS Payroll Project Manager - Hounslow Borough Council

I can testify to the professionalism and above all the specialist knowledge that Square One's Oracle Practice brings. They have staffed a number of high profile Oracle Payroll projects that I have successfully delivered, always with the right blend of Consultant who is both 'fit for purpose' and 'fully committed' to me as a client. I would always come to Square One for my resource needs and highly recommend the organisation to any client involved in the Oracle E-Business Suite.

Head of Resourcing, Oracle Corporation

Having Square One's on site team and external scalable support has allowed me to redeploy key staff to more internally focussed projects.

Financial Services Director - HCL AXON

Finding SAP resource is an arduous process. Seeing through the haze of embellished CV's is tricky for the busy exec. Resources who have less than 5yrs experience are not worth the time to interview, and resources with more have unrealistic reimbursement requirements. When the above is applied to financial services....dual skill set....thins the pool. In this space we have repeatedly turned to Square One. This even though we have an internal resourcing dept. We find that consistently Square One is able to understand our requirements with minimal interaction, is tenacious enough to secure the interviews, and delivers candidates of quality and calibre that we are unable to find ourselves.

CIBER Novasoft AG, Germany

I have been using Square One’s recruitment services for several years and have always appreciated the quick response time, the straightforward communication and the delivery of very suitable candidates. The team has proved to be reliable even on the occasion of quite challenging requirements.

European Recruitment Manager, icon Clinical Research GMBH

Square One Pharma has been a key supplier of ours since 2004. During this period we have always found their staff to be highly professional and they have delivered exactly what we have asked of them
Our Partners: