Friday, 29 July 2011

Helpful as always

Today East Midlands Trains has really outdone themselves. I'm travelling for the sad occasion of visiting a friend receiving palliative care. What should be a time for quiet contemplation has now turned into a clusterfuck typical of EMT.

The train was delayed over the Pennines with no explanation, causing a missed connection. The app on my phone showed two other trains departing shortly thereafter that would get me to my destination, but there were no departures boards on the platform. I ran to the lobby to check the board, only to find that the two trains weren't even listed. The guy at the ticket desk tried to speak to me as though I was unable to read a timetable, and denied that the changeover on the Internet didn't match the one in reality. Thankfully, a woman with two kids behind me in the queue piped up that she had the same problem. He decided to be more helpful after that.

I'm en route now, with a total of 3 changes and nearly 40 minutes delay. Thank goodness I was prepared for such an inevitability. I made sure to leave 2 hours before I needed to just so I wouldn't miss visiting hours if the train was late.

Now I'm annoyed and flustered from all of the hustling between platforms and the lobby to get information. Maybe I should thank them for the distraction. Or not.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Some days this sounds like a great idea

This was recently linked by a friend. Believe me, I don't subscribe to bridal blogs [shudder], but the pink sparkly in a can sounded worth a try. Mildly classier than the dude with the cans of Strongbow, perhaps? If I see this, I might round out my poseur commuter cuisine with some M&S sushi.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A little train love

Ok - normally I bitch about train services. Today is different. Things haven't been smooth, but were definitely not as unpleasant as usual because train staff have been uncharacteristically nice today.

I travelled to London yesterday morning, and discovered that the contracted travel agent for our university had messed up big time and I didn't have a ticket. It was sorted with minutes and I picked it up from the machine. This morning, some poor unfortunate selfish asshole threw his/herself under a train and delayed the Piccadilly line by about an hour, but the train driver was very pleasant and nobody crammed into the tube smelled or was obnoxious.

Then tonight, I ran for the train with bruised feet and a broken heel on my shoe- the barrier guy thought it was so funny that he just let me through. I was an hour into my return journey when the train manager looked at my ticket only to discover that the travel agent had again screwed up and my ticket was actualy valid for the day before.

I showed him my email conversations with the travel agent and he recognized that the guy had made a mistake and very pleasantly let me continue my journey. He could have been a jerk, but he was lovely and I appreciate it.

So, thank you to the train manager and the tube driver who didn't suck.