Train Watching: Andy Redman
Commuting on a daily basis can be very tiring, especially when it’s your first proper industry copywriting job, you’re travelling for two hours each day and work 42 hours a week.
This aside, I love my job and I always try to think of ways to liven up my train journey; whether that involves talking to a stranger about something I know little about or playing thoughts over in my mind. The other day, for instance, I had an hour conversation with an American Mormon – his strong opinions had no effect on my existing views (as I’m very strong willed and know the facts that lay before me) but they were certainly interesting for me to take in.
So besides the obvious, which involves talking to people, I raised a question in my mind. What would happen if I traced a person’s actions – everything they did throughout their train journey, where they got on and off, parts of their personality which were apparent from their movements alone?
Perhaps it was a little stalker-ish to watch this guy throughout the entire hour train journey, but I did it. For blog purposes, of course.
He was no more than 5’9, with a 6 o’clock shadow – which resembled pre-pubescent bum fluff more than a beard – and I presumed was unintentional, that the nearly 22 year old guy had forgotten to shave that morning.
As he opened his laptop, he revealed the one factor that would have remained a mystery, had he not done this. His name.
An anime fanatic, that much was inevitable from the laptop background he had chosen. The program he choose to watch was unfamiliar to me, perhaps something obscure, perhaps he was one of those people who had to be ‘original’ with everything in their life.
Little thought had gone into his outfit – a faded blue hoodie, straight cut jeans that looked somewhat 90s ish and a pair of dirty white trainers. He certainly didn’t take more than 20 minutes to get ready in the morning… unless he was a clean freak who just looked a little rugged around the edges.
Maybe he was a gamer or just looked the type. Travelling towards Portsmouth, I considered the fact that he could be a Southampton Solent student (coincidentally where I studied my journalism degree). They had plenty of computer and gaming courses there and he seemed the type – a very presumptuous thought, I must admit.
The point is – it’s extremely easy to guess every factor of a person’s identity, but you can only know the basic facts, unless you’re close to the individual. Our brain jumps ahead of us and throws judgement into the mix. How can we judge when we know so little about a person?