Observing The Everyday

 Holding it between my thumb and middle finger, I use my forefinger to rotate it. The inside is plastic, the outside tin. I am annoyed that the inside is plastic. I hold it inside my bag, fiddling with it this way, waiting for the train to come before I decide whether to put it on or not.

Please Offer Me A Seat.

  As the train comes in, I can see empty seats, so I drop the badge in my bag and zip it up. I am relieved, because I do not have to break my anonymity by pinning a round blue disk to my coat. I wonder how much more it would have cost them to make the inside out of tin.

There’s no need to explain your reasons for the badge and card with either our staff or fellow customers. Please remember the badge and card doesn’t guarantee you a seat.

 Last month I was too nervous to put my badge on, whilst travelling during rush hour. I stood from West Hampstead until Westminster, my legs gave way, my vision blacked out, I was falling and swaying. I managed to get myself off the train, and sat on the platform for a long time.

A new trial will see disabled passengers and those with hidden conditions, illnesses and injuries receive a blue badge to alert fellow passengers of their need for a seat on public transport.

 The London Underground is the only public transport system, to my knowledge, which acknowledges invisible disabilities in this way.

Whats wrong with you then?

Isn’t that a condition made up by lazy people?

  TFL ‘Safety Blue’, R0 G96 B168, as per the official TFL colour standards. Typeface Johnstone 100, available for use upon request. When a seat becomes available, if both a man and I go to sit, usually they offer it to me. I find this problematic, but I’m less able for reasons other than my gender, so I always take it. I spend the rest of the journey wondering if I should explain this to them. If an elderly person comes on board, I will give them my seat. If I were pregnant, it would read ‘Baby on Board!’, but I’m not, so it doesn’t.  I am ill, I am unwell, I think I am struggling more than you. These are the things between the two lines of text on my badge, the things that float in the blue. Please offer me a seat; specific and invisible made ambiguous and noticeable.∎


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

PLEASE OFFER ME A SEAT, TRANSPORT FOR LONDON, ACCESSED 25TH JANUARY (HTTPS://TFL.GOV.UK/CAMPAIGN/PLEASE-OFFER-ME-A-SEAT)

TFL Colour Standards, Transport for London, accessed 24th January 2018( http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tfl-colour-standards-issue04.pdf)

TFL Font Requests, Transport for London, accessed 24th January 2018 (https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/suppliers-and-contractors/font-requests)