The friendliness of crowds

To say work has been busy would be an understatement.
It seems every week brings an opportunity to go and visit a different element of the country to help with something.
This has meant I’ve got far more familiar with trains and public transport than ever before – almost intimately!

But travelling is a great place to observe crowd behaviour and how people tend to follow what everyone else is doing.

Two examples struck me…

Part of the journey involved the new train station at Birmingham New Street.
Now I’ always one for leaving things behind normally coats in pubs) – but on this occasion it was on the train.
Actually this whole trip had a colleague basically collecting things I’d forgotten like a mother following a three year old.
We’d arrived at New Street and had to change…it was around rush hour and we had about 7 minutes to make the connection.
Things were rushed and my coat was the lat thing on my mind – and really not on my mind until half way down the plat form.

So dilemma – run back onto the train and hope I can fight my way to my old seat? Or just give up and buy a new coat.

I chose to try – and if I got trapped on the train it would at least make an interesting story (plus my colleague would have to get my luggage back to south wales).

SO the train is now jammed packed with passengers getting on with no chance of me getting to my seat to rescue the coat.

The solution – just shout down the train and ask people to pass it back…and without hesitation that is what everyone did. No questions or no second thoughts.

I was relieved.

The other example involved the layout of the new station.
With everyone a little unsure there tended to be some herd mentality going on. As the crowd rushed into the new station from the arriving trains most people simply followed the people they were with – normally resulting in hitting various bottle necks and dead ends. There were clearly signs directing people but these weren’t glanced at in preference to the assumption that the people in front knew where to go.

Any way just some observations.

Peace

G


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