Tube Strikes: Grizzly Situation for officebroker.com’s Chris Meredith
On Tuesday, Chris “The Bear” Meredith – officebroker.com’s Head of Sales – travelled to London from our HQ in Tamworth to visit a number of office providers, including representatives from Executive Office Group (EOG) and Regus.
Although the day started well and Chris arrived early to take in the latest sights and developments in the capital, it soon became clear that as a result of the latest strike action from tube station employees, transport in London had virtually ground to a halt as buses and taxis became overloaded with stranded commuters.
The strikes are part of another round of 24-hour walk-outs, in which 11,000 public sector staff from London’s transport network downed tools as part of a row over looming job cuts, resulting from the Coalition Government attempts to save money and reduce the country’s soaring deficit.
Faced with closed stations and empty taxi ranks, Chris pounded the pavements along with thousands of other stricken commuters to reach his appointments on time.
“Luckily it was good weather,” said Chris. “I’m always happy to walk as it also gives me a chance to see the latest building developments, but it meant that I had to rush to make my appointments. Thank god for mobile communication!”
Having crossed the city and met with EOG and then Derren Jennings from Regus, Chris again had to take to his heels to reach the station for his return journey. But hampered by busy streets, he arrived at the station just in time to see his train pulling out of the station.
Chris boarded another train that arrived 10 minutes later. However his transport dilemma was not over yet, as it soon became apparent that his ticket was not valid for that particular journey – despite it going in the same direction as the previous train.
Although the carriage was empty and Chris had left his seat on the previous train empty, he was instructed to pay for the new ticket – at a cost of ┬ú65 – or face the wrath of the transport police.
“I had really had enough by this point!” he said. “If the train was full I could have understood – but it was virtually empty, and it’s ironic really that the only reason I ended up on that particular train was because the public transport sector let me down that day.”
Needless to say Chris paid up, but was glad to see the back of London’s transport system.
“There are definite merits to being based in the Midlands!” he added.
The Story Behind “The Bear”
Why do we call Chris Meredith ‘The Bear’?
Chris has worked for officebroker.com for close to 8 years, and has been known as ‘The Bear’ virtually since day one.
The story goes that on his very first day at officebroker.com, Chris arrived late to work having slept through his alarm. He was promptly warned by his new boss, Managing Director Jim Venables, about the values of punctuality.
But two days later, the same thing happened and Chris turned up late again.
The second time around Chris came close to being fired, and during Jim’s heated lecture he said “What are you, some kind of hibernating bear?”
Chris swiftly changed his ways, and having worked his way up through the ranks to become Head of UK Sales, it’s safe to say that he has never been late for work since. But the name has well and truly stuck…