Ordered into work for 09.30 start by boss who herself still on Xmas leave. As travelled back day before from festive Yorkshire break and only got home at 8.00 pm, early start difficult. However, through sterling effort, arrive at Esher station for 08.52 train, staggering under weight of massive laptop which not working since pet pigeon tap danced on keyboard, so taking in for IT to look at. In other words, laden like camel heading for Samarkand. Miserable weather. Get to Esher station to find platforms deserted as am only person in Esher actually stupid enough to go to work in rain on New Year’s Eve. Also find train cancelled. Next train 09.20. Realise is Sunday service although is Monday.
Await 09.20 perched on seat modelled on railway sleeper in glass cattle shed open in front to elements so drizzle sweeping into face and ruining coiffure.
At 09.10, good looking bloke pass by and say ‘The 09.22 is cancelled, I am going to work from home’. Excellent communicator, much better than SW Trains.
Start diatribe to self about how only muggins is stupid enough to be stuck on deserted station on New Year’s Eve when recovering from burn out caused by employers struggling into work to serve.
Bloody newsagent and coffee shop shut as owners at home with feet up in front of telly.
Take kit and kabooble and plough up platform in rain to Help Point. Help Point vital connection between customer and SW Trains NASA-like headquarters. Press blue button, marked Information as opposed to white button marked Emergency. Lucky only want to find out what happen to bloody trains and not being mugged as despite sticking finger on button and holding down very hard, no one pick up, presumably as entire operations dept on New Year’s Eve holiday.
Ring SW Trains Customer Service.
Bloke answer. Ask tersely why trains not running from Esher station why no-one answer information point.
Bloke say he been off for 7 days and he don’t know as he only started work at 09.00.
Suggest he might want to find out. He agree. Puts me on hold for 5 minutes.
Comes back to advise train broken down at Walton station and customers need to go to Surbiton as no trains stopping at Esher. ‘Then why SW Trains not telling people this?’ I say tartly. ‘This is totally pathetic.’ Bloke agree could be better and says ‘I don’t understand why Esher station not putting message out’. That because Esher station ticket office closed for New Year’s Eve, I say.
Bloke apologises and say message getting out soon.
American couple turn up and sit sniffing in drizzle on comfy rail sleeper seats.
Up train come thundering through. Message come through at same time, at exact decibel level to be drowned out by express. ‘crackle crackle.. not stooping at Esher Walton and Hersham’…Esher Walton Hersham…crackle crackle…’
American couple talk and sniff through message.
Nobody, except me who put out customer service message, any bloody wiser. Now am acting as mobile SW Trains Customer Service Liaison person.
Calculate how much money left in current a/c to pay for taxi to Surbiton (-£2) and calculate that salary probably arrived in current account by time get to Surbiton by taxi. Advise American couple that if planning to wait for train likely to be long wait. Stagger with goods over railway bridge to taxi cab hut and sink gratefully into luxurious Merc back seat. Fortuitously salary has indeed arrived when check at bank hole in wall in Surbiton.
Stagger into work with laptop. Switch on laptop in office. Discover laptop working.