Tuesday, 26 October 2010

An open(ly sarcastic) letter

Dear East Midlands Trains,

Once again, your customer service policies and logistical planning have blown my tiny mind. This morning during the half-term morning commute, we were afforded 4 spacious carriages for the commuters that were on holiday. This evening during the dinner rush, the same train was allocated two carriages to accommodate those returning commuters, along with approximately every single teenager in the Mersey area trying to make it home from their half-term excursions in time for dinner.

The thing that most impresses me about this scenario is that they were all able to reserve seats. I, as an annual season pass holder, however am NOT permitted to reserve a seat. This is despite the fact that I pay £4,300 per year to ride the same train everyday. So, rather than being able to work on my two hour journey, I must now stand in the aisle after being on my feet all day at work. I tried sitting in the luggage rack, but alas this too is now full.

Good thing the train company will be taking so many extra fares today. Oh wait. It's too crowded for the conductor to move down the train to sell tickets.

I shall be thinking fondly of your company this evening while soaking my aching legs and finishing the two hours of research that I was unable to do on my cozy evening journey. Maybe in keeping with tradition, the train will be delayed and I can miss tucking my little girl in bed too.

Kiss my grits,

Monday, 25 October 2010

Voice from the top

The conversation in the planning office must've gone something like this:

Manager: Ooh. I know what we will do to improve the customer satisfaction statistics this week. We will put on more carriages so that passengers aren't crowded.

Minion: Good idea, sir. Just one little thing though. It's half term, sir. There won't be many travellers commuting this week.

Manager: You're right! Just think how happy they'll be to have more leg room.

Minion: Uh, sir. I don't think that's what...

Manager: Right again, Minion. Services will return to normal next week.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Office from Hell

There are some new characters who have recently joined the cast. They are nearly annoying enough to make me break my habitual selection of the last carriage in hopes that I don't have to sit near them anymore. They never shut up.

There are 3 of them, and they all work in the same office. It is clear that they are the mean clique that tends to form in workplaces where the industry is not relevant to anyone in the outside world. These three spend an hour each morning and evening backstabbing their co-workers and plotting ways to make others look incompetent. I'd love to figure out where they work so I could make transcripts of the conversations these bullies have and email them to their colleagues. Immature bullies.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


It appears that at least every third person on the train is suffering from a winter cold. Not surprising, considering that we are jammed in here like sardines. I'm composing a percussive symphony in my head from the sounds. It's a bit like "Stomp", but with phlegm. Hack hack, cough, cough. Sniff sniff. Haaaachooo. Hmm. Perhaps it's a bit more evocative of the Cell Block Tango from Chicago. "I told him if he snorted snot down his throat one more time... And he did."

I'm thinking of naming it "Coughcaphony". Other suggestions?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The error of their ways?

Oh goodie. We've got two carriages again. This is probably the 6th or 7th time out of my last 10 journeys. Last week, the conductor apologised a few times, citing engineer errors. This week, they've given up pretending that 4 carriages is anything but a pleasant surprise.

So, a train meant for 400 has seats for 300. There are pushy old people insisting that they have seat reservations when none have been printed. Glad to see that the train company has resolved these issues in time for the busy travel season.