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Unfiltered Story #56910

Unfiltered | August 9, 2016

After a few days in London with my teenage daughter and some of her friends, we are going to take the tube from Paddington to Victoria to catch the Gatwick express. We all have Oyster cards, and the youngsters have them set to “young visitors” for reduced fares. All of us need to top up the cards so I try to find out exactly how much money we need to add for the one ride. The adult fare is £2.40 but I am not sure what the young visitor’s fare is so I approach a group of official looking gentlemen all wearing Transport for London badges. After some hesitation, one of them decides to talk to me.

Me: Excuse me; if you have a young visitor’s card, what is the fare to Victoria?

He: It’s £2,40, madam.

Me (knowing this must be wrong): with a young visitor’s card?

He (holding back a smile): would that be for you, madam? (Note: I’m 51.)

Me: No, it’s for my daughter.

He: Well, with a young visitor’s card it’s a maximum of £1.80.

Me: So is it £1.80 or a maximum of 1.80?

He: It’s £1.80 … at the most.

Me: I’m just trying to find out the amount we need to put on our cards to get to Victoria.

He: £2.40, madam. Max.

He then proceeds to explain the capping system, limiting the amount you have to pay in one day, which in this case is completely irrelevant. Also the capping is set at different amounts to the ones we are discussing.

I give up and go back to my daughter and her friends and tell them to add an extra pound each, which will be a bit too much but will surely be enough. The man comes over and starts explaining that there’d been lady standing next to me while we were talking that he assumed was my daughter so that’s why he was giving the wrong answer. Then, for some reason he decides to add to my confusion.

He: Oh, they are fifteen? Then they go for free (also not correct)

At this point, I’m just staring at him, so he looks at me expectantly and says “No problem”, possibly expecting a thank you, which I am unable to give, being left utterly speechless by the confusion of it all.

We make it onto the train in the end and all I can think is that if this is his idea of no problem, I hope this gentleman is doing paperwork and not actually driving the trains.

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