There’s a problem at Liverpool Street station.
The gates of its main entrance, serving both underground and national services, have been bolted shut. It’s these gates that most patrons trickling out of Old Street and Shoreditch are being pointed to by their mapping apps as their entrance to the Central Line.
A man clutching a cold burger is shouting at a security worker in a high-vis jacket.
“Well why the fuck aren’t there signs?! How the fuck do you get in?”
“Sir, there is no need to talk to me like that...”
“Well fuck'sake, how do we get home? What the fuck is going on?”
“Sir, calm down – the entrance is through the arcade.”
“…walk that way and it’s on your left hand side. Please calm down.”
“Well... there should be fucking signs.”
This security worker is a hero. A saint. A man going above and beyond. He’s got nothing to do with TfL's service, but rather is contracted by the main Liverpool Street station facilities.
Due to his unfortunate placement at the station’s main gates, combined with his high-vis jacket, he is assumed to be an oracle of the capital. As such, he faces the unfortunate task of having to indicate drunk punters toward a secondary entrance through an arcade – which, to be fair to the man with his burger, isn’t signposted.
A stream of people with the same question (“Where’s the Central Line?”) flows for the better part of 15 minutes, with the security guard redirecting them with dexterous precision. I wish him luck as he relights a cigarette in a brief lull.