Train tale

I apologise if I left anyone hanging with my train-scare blog yesterday. It was nothing: some numpty just left a bag behind by mistake, I guess. It just added 30 minutes to my commute. Very little terror.

This morning, all trains are delayed because of some earlier track problem. *sigh*

Train threat

They’ve just stopped my train home (First Great Western’s service to Paddington) one stop (Southall) before I get off (Ealing Broadway). There’s a security concern, some sort of suspicious package. They told us to get off the train and go to another platform to wait for a new one, which we dutifully but crankily are.

Cranky train

Two things that bugged me this morning:

1. When someone goes to the ticket gate in the train station, right up to it, standing in front of it about to go in, blocking it during the busy rush hour – and only then starts to dig around in their purse or pocket for their ticket. Hmm, where is that ticket? It’s funny, I wasn’t expecting I’d have to use myticket to go through the automatic ticket gate. What a surprise! Oh well, I’ll find it soon enough. Strange, why are all these people piled up behind me, just because one of the ticket gates is now effectively unusable whilst I block it? Oh well, gotta look for that ticket. I’ll just keep standing here. Dum dee dum.

2. When the outside temperature is above 20°C yet the train still has its heaters on, and it’s an AC carriage which means it only has tiny windows.

One side of a phone conversation heard after leaving the train during tonight’s commute

“Look, I’m sick and tired of arguing about this with you. I just need you to fax it again!”


“If you’ll listen to me for a minute and stop talking…no, I’m not having a go at you…listen, I don’t CARE what you said you did before…”


“LISTEN! Just SHUT UP for a minute. This would be easier if you stopped arguing, because…listen, because I’m telling you that they didn’t get the fax. So, I don’t…”


“No, I don’t care what you did before. They didn’t get it. So you need to fax it again. If you’d just listen to me and stop arguing and do what I say, we wouldn’t have to do this. You see, this is why we have thi…”


“Are you going to learn your lesson this time, then? In the future you need toshut up and do what I say when I say it, not tell me why you shouldn’t. Tell me you’ve learned your lesson. No, seriously, tell me.”


“Alright, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

Commuting jerks

I encountered two types of jerks during my commute today. I often see them in other walks of life, but today they were clustered around my daily train journey.

The first was a Needless Jerk. He was ahead of me in the queue for the coffee kiosk in the station. He asked for a latté. The girl started to make it. She must have used the skim milk by mistake, because the guy suddenly blurts, “No, I don’t want it skinny, I want regular milk.” Okay, fine, the girl dumps the drink she’s started to pour and makes another. I don’t see any eye-rolling or exasperation on her part. While she’s making the new drink, buddy says – in quite a mean tone – “If I’d wanted it skinny, I would haveasked for it skinny.” Well, no shit, buddy. She knows that. It was an error. She wasn’t trying to push yesterday’s skim milk on you. There’s no need to be a jerk here.

The other jerk was a Mindless Jerk. This guy was walking ahead of me outside the crowded station on my way home. He approached the ticket gate right in front of me, walks right up to it, and just stops. He’s looking up at the screens, possibly wondering if he should ditch his worthless life back in Slough and head off to Bristol. In any case, he’s pulled up short and is blocking the entrance to the ticket gate. These mouth-breathers seem to enjoy pulling this stunt on either sides of the gate, creating equivalent bottlenecks either way. I gave him the old, “EXCUSE me,” upon which he leaped aside in great surprise that someone else should be in a mainline station during rush hour.