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    First Class Has No Class

    | France | Bad Behavior, Top, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    (A group of friends and I are just coming back from backpacking in southern France when our train breaks down. All passengers are advised to take another train; however, it is already full. As there is no more standing room in the second class, we head to the first class. We ask the ticket inspector if it is allowed. He says it’s fine. A group of businessmen in suits already seated in the first class seem to disagree and call the ticket inspector over.)

    Businessman: “Excuse me? Could you please check the tickets of those youngsters? They don’t look like they would have tickets to the first class.”

    Ticket Inspector: “They don’t indeed. However, second class is completely full.”

    Businessman: “I understand that. However, I am paying your train company several thousands a year and for that, I expect a certain level of service. I am from Switzerland and own a large company myself! Those people only paid for one second class ticket and probably got it from a sale!”

    Ticket Inspector: “Again, I apologise. They have paid for their ticket and they have a right to get to Paris, same as you.”

    Businessman: “I will be calling your company to let them know about this situation!”

    Ticket Inspector: “All right, then, sir. I will chase them out of this compartment. As there is no more space for standing, I will have to stop this train here. They will have to get off here and walk to the next town, and the train will be even more delayed. But at least you, the important businessman, will not have to be near those students. Is that what you want?”

    (The businessman gets silent. The people he is travelling with are visibly uncomfortable.)

    Ticket inspector: “If you wish to call and complain about me to the company, be my guest. Good bye, sir.”

    (On his way out of the first class, the ticket inspector smiles and wishes us a pleasant trip. I only wish I could have bought this man a drink!)