Friday, 19 January 2007

Thank God It's Friday...

...oh dear, I've just remembered that this was the title of a film, one of those 70's disco thingies, no real story-line but lots of disco music (do I make things worse and admit that I went to see it...? or even worse still, I've got the LP somewhere...). Hey, it was trendy at the time (I think) everyone was making these films - even ABBA!

Still, I digress. The end of another commuting week (promise not to go on like I did yesterday) in which Mother Nature did her best to keep us all at home...and British Rail contributed it's fair share to the process. Weather was quite nice today but even that couldn't help British Rail get it's act together. You know something is not quite right when you come round the corner and there are crowds of people standing on the steps of the station :o( afterall, that's what the platforms are for...unfortunately, you can't see the main indicator board from the platform!

Upon entering the ticket hall it was clear that there was a problem. All the Pitsea/Southend bound services were listed with that very pretty blue word by the side of them - cancelled, and London bound trains didn't look as if they were fairing much better. It was now 8.07am and the 8.02 was shown as 'expected 8.25', the 8.12 was nowhere to be seen (found out later that it had just disappeared from the board like all the services before it) but looking more promising was the 8.24 (my normal train :o)), shown as ON TIME - yes! - NO!!!!! Clock ticks by and it is now 8.25 but the 8.24 is still shown as on time. Board refreshes, you know - screen goes blank and then the data slowly re-appears from the left, and the next London bound train is...8.41???? Wait-a-mo! what has happened to the 8.02 & the 8.24? I am reliably informed by my co-wouldbe travellers that this little trick has been performed at regular intervals since just after 7.00am.

Well, unlike last night, we had staff present - though what good it did... as the guy at the barrier just grinned idiotically everytime someone asked him a question, occasionally he got energetic and shrugged his shoulders but actually provide any info, no way. Ticket office staff had it easier - they were behind plate-glass and there is a very convenient back room that they kept disappearing into. Phonecall to work - "think I'm going to be late - if I get there at all, speak to you later".

8.40, it's cutting it fine if this one is going to arrive and then the magical sound...the crossing alarm as the barriers come down. Now consider this...there has been no service for close on 1 & 3/4 hours, many folk have given up and gone home but there is still a considerable number of bodies milling about - short, four coach train arrives (and it's already half full). Huh! I was prepared, I know this service, I'm standing just at the right place for boarding at the front of the train AND I get a seat, way to go.......!!! However, by the time the train pulls away I have a shoulderbag pressed into my right ear and I am already considering how I am going to get to the doors, should we ever make it to West Ham >:o( With the exception of some rather colourful comments from folk trying to get on (lol) at each of the stops along the way, the journey was fairly uneventful. Arrived at work only 20 mins late.....

Homeward journey this evening, boring, train was on time (through train, no changing) got a seat, arrived home without any problems - now where is the fun in that..............??????


Chrissie said...

Oh I would SO have used the dodgy trains as a stellar excuse not to go to work. My phone call would have been "Absolutely NO TRAINS...I'll tryyyyyyy to get one but it's not looking hopeful" and then gone straight away, put my feet up and watched telly and scrapped.

You're so noble Toni!

misteejay said...

Not noble, more chicken (lol) couldn't face having to explain why I didn't get in if other folk living out this way did. Although I don't remember seeing any of them ;o( Should have gone for the 'feet up & TV' option...Toni

Chrissie said...

*Chrissie starts squawking like a chicken and flapping her arms*

You let the side down. They'll all be cross with you now for going in and showing THEM up! LOL