What if I spoke my mind?

speak
Image by: alexisnyal

In response to this weeks Okay, What if? Weekly Writing Challenge. – What if I spoke my Mind!

I’m terrible at speaking up, I always have things to say, but more often than not I back down as I am not a fan of confrontation.

Jed’s theme for this challenge reminded me of an incident that happened on the train last week. It is an occasion where I wanted to speak my mind, but aside from that it also made me realise how two people can view the same situation in different ways.

I remember the morning in question, because I was debating doing the change over at the first station where the train turns into an express. It was a busy morning and there were already people standing in the aisle’s and doorways. I glanced back and decided not to bother, I had a seat and blog reading was particularly good that morning.

The conductor was moving down the train towards the doors right behind my seat as the train had already pulled into the station. People were trying to get off by wading through the crowd trying to get on. It was a bit of a human traffic jam.

A lady (and I use that term very loosely) entering the train obviously spied the empty seat beside me and pushed against the crowd to reach it. In doing so she met the conductor trying to go the other way and pushed towards him too, until he eventually said something along the lines of, can you let people get off first.

Having experienced first hand, trying to leave a train against the flow, I thought the lady pushy and rude, I’ve blogged before about how I feel it is polite to let other passengers leave before entering a train.

I said nothing. What I wanted to say was, “Seriously, have you no patience, like none at all. Could you not have waited until everyone was off. You practically shoved the conductor out of the way.”

It’s funny how when something happens, you become aware of someone, who you would normally never have paid any attention to. Subconsciously you place yourself on guard.

A couple of stops later this lady picks up her mobile and phones someone. I don’t usually listen to other people’s conversations, although on a train, sometimes it is extremely hard not to.

Obviously the person she was talking to was either a partner or family member, who also it would seem works for the transport company who run the trains. She told them that she felt like putting in a complaint against the conductor because he was rude and also because of the way he pushed her to the side. I believe she said that she did not like the way he had laid hands on her. She told the person on the phone she had the staff number and they were obviously going to try and obtain the name of the conductor.

I swear she had to know I was listening, because a couple of times I turned and gave her the look, the ‘are you for fecking real’ look! I was actually getting quite annoyed and wanted to jump up and down yelling ‘what the absolute f*ck!!!’ See how cross I was, I never use the word absolute, I can’t even spell it ffs.

I had not witnessed any of the things she said, and my perception of the incident was totally different. I thought she was the one who was rude and pushy and if I’d had the balls to speak my mind I’d have told her that an all!!


For more information on this Challenge and to follow Okay, What if? click the picture below:

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The Joys of Modern Travel – Part 7 – Karma

Our Modern Day Trains!!
Our Modern Day Trains!!

Karma is a law in Hinduism which maintains that every act done, no matter how insignificant, will eventually return to the doer with equal impact

Ticket day today….so what would you like first, the good news, or the bad news!

There was no one at the station again, so I had my usual two options, jump off at a manned station, purchase ticket, jump back on and away we go or jump off at a manned station, take my time, have a cup of coffee, kick back and relax and wait for the next one. I opted for the former, after all I did have to get to work.

Ah FeckAfter my previous encounters with the guards at the station and on the train where they had apologised for not waiting, I felt assured that today there would be no repeat performance. I spoke to them on the way through and said I need to go and get my ticket and they nodded as there was a gentleman in front of me in a similar position. He went first and paid for his and as I stepped forward to the counter I heard the all to familiar noise of the doors closing and the train departing from the station. “Ah feck” says I, rolling my eyes and thinking not again.

So I was a little miffed to say the least but it’s not like I could run up the track screaming and waving my fists now is it, so best to concentrate on the task at hand.

“Is there any truth in the rumour we get an extra day on our tickets because of the strike last month?” I asked. Being miffed had made me a little braver than normal. “No, no truth in that rumour but if you give me a second or two I will tell you what you can get” was the reply and he proceeded to stab the shoite clean out of his wee calculator. “You get a £3.80 discount” he said looking a little ashamed. “Fair enough, I’m happy enough with that” I replied and watched the relief wash over his face. Anything is better than nothing.

So with my ticket bought, 30 minutes to kill and at a loss for something to do I did indeed purchase a cup of coffee and wandered out to the platform to kick back and relax.

WaitWhilst sipping my coffee and enjoying the sunshine I happened to notice that the train I had vacated not 15 minutes previously was sitting further up the line at the next station, which is not more than 3 minutes away from where I was. At this point I actually did consider running up the track, arms a flailing screaming WAIT!!!! at the top of my voice, but a sharp twinge from Alien Leg brought me sharply back to reality.

After another 5 minutes or so I began to realise something was wrong and that’s when the notion of karma hit me. The conductor didn’t wait so his train had broken down, was it really so bad that I had a little inward chuckle! After another 5 minutes it disappeared off into the distance, albeit at a very slow pace.

My next train pulled in and we started on our journey. Two stops along we picked up all the passengers from my original train.

It turns out there were 3 faults on the train when it left the first station. They called a mechanic to travel on board the train and proceeded with the journey, sadly not making it past the 7th station. Would it not just have been better to send out another train in the first place ffs.

No offence but your announcements of NIR apologises for the delay and inconvenience it may cause,  is, as my mate would say a bit like shouting toilet after you’ve shit yourself!

The Joys of Modern Travel Part 4!!

There seems to be a bit of a theme developing here, however I am aware that at some stage I am going to have to change the record and move on! Not tonight though, there are a few words still to be spoken.

Mini Rant Number 1

Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I have recently undergone knee surgery. Actually anyone who doesn’t know me would probably also be able to guess that there is something not quite right with me, but for the most part now I am back on my feet and walking, I look relatively normal. I no longer have to avail of the use of a crutch or walking aid. Good news you say, and yes considering the state I was in 7 months ago it certainly is.

However is it not so good when trying to travel by train.

The other morning, the the trauma of having to walk from the car park to the train platform had really taken it’s toll! Ok, slight exaggeration, my leg was a little sore so I needed to sit down..happy now! So I’m the first person on the platform, but pretty soon others start to filter out.

So over the speaker comes the announcement about the next train leaving Platform 1, blah, blah, blah. I gather myself together, make sure I have all my belongings and step forward on the platform. After almost 20 years travelling back and forth I am a pretty good judge of where the train usually stops, for the carriage I want anyway and sure enough it slows down. Now on these new fangled trains opening the door is almost a two person operation. The doors are so wide that the button to open them is a fair bit to the left of the door. A kind gentlemen who is a little closer to the left hand side than I, steps over to hit the button and my bad leg and I step forward to grab the rail and hoist ourselves onto the train. Then out of nowhere comes this…well I was going to call her a young lady…but…this young lass just barges in between us both and onto the train, actually pushing us out of the way slightly. I’m not a violent person in any shape form or fashion, but right at that moment I had a clear vision in my minds eye of me pulling her by the pony tail and hauling her ass back off the train.

It happens at other times too. The train pulls into the station and the people from the platform are trying to barge their way past the throng trying to come off. Now I’m no rocket scientist but would it not make sense to let it empty a little before you try to embark, increasing your chance of finding a seat ffs! In fact would it not be a common courtesy to just wait until the others disembark!

Mini Rant Number 2

Which leads me nicely into my second foray into rantdom! Seats.  Some days there are just not enough of them.

Now that is not exactly the rail company’s fault. I mean unless you have physic powers how would you ever be able to know how many people are going to travel. Ok sure, look at peak times and try and address those issues! But for the most part you can always get a seat somewhere.

Unless of course someone has placed their bag, coat, mobile phone, briefcase, hat, scarf and kitchen sink on the spare seat beside them. I mean, hellllooooooo did you pay for that extra seat?? Cos see if you didn’t, get yer shit picked up and make way for the irate woman with the bad leg who wants to sit down!! And you can stop giving me that pinched face look too, you only bought a ticket not the whole dam train!

Mini Rant Number 3

And last but not least, access onto the platform itself!

As a result of said knee surgery I am at present unable to descend stairs. I can climb up them, albeit with a lot of effing, blinding, grunts and groans but for some reason going down eludes me.

The station I depart from at home time is underneath a bridge…sort of. Being unable to do the stairs I have to walk about 50 yards further and head down a ramp which I am guessing they class as a wheelchair ramp. My advice,  if you’re in a wheelchair avoid it at all costs, that fecker is steep. You lose grip or your brakes fail and you’re on a one way ticket to tracksville! Anyone hanging onto the back of you is going to fly like a kite! Go another 50 yards further on and down through the car park, it will be a much more pleasant journey, I promise! That’s what I now do.

I never realised until I hit that hill how much of a toll surgery had taken on my muscles. I was kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, finding it really difficult to hold myself back and scared witless I was going to topple forward. I eventually made it down but I was practically doubled over hanging off the hand rail. People had joked with me when I went back to work about me carrying walking poles and I had laughed and said I’ve just got rid of crutches, but I could have done with them that day! Obviously as the days go by and the more I walk the strength returns and I shall soon use the hill as exercise, but I will proceed with caution and take a parachute!

I’ve lust let Paul proof read this post and his response was that I am going to get known as a train hater. To which I replied, I’m not a train hater though, I love the train, it’s just paying for it and some of the other passengers are the problem :)