It Was No Trouble At All

, , , , , | Friendly | December 18, 2020

The lady who runs the ticket office at my parents’ local train station is infamous locally as a total grump. She’s snappy and impatient and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. My father used to commute by train every day and always said good morning to [Ticket Lady], even though he was usually ignored.

One year, shortly after Christmas, my dad went to renew his season ticket as usual and, as usual, was served by [Ticket Lady]. She was in a particularly foul mood that day and my dad asked her about it.

Ticket Lady: “My office heater broke, and the rail company can’t provide me with a new one for a few days.”

My dad commiserated with her and left it at that, wishing her a happy New Year as he left.

Unbeknownst to [Ticket Lady], my dad then walked to the café up the road and purchased a coffee and warm pastry to go. He then returned to the station and gave them to [Ticket Lady], who was shocked. When she could finally speak:

Ticket Lady: “Thank you. Nobody ever does nice things for me.” 

After that day, [Ticket Lady] was always much politer to my parents and me. She would always greet us with a cheery, “Here comes Trouble!” when she saw us, and she always had time for a chat with my dad between customers. 

When my dad’s health started deteriorating and he started working from home, we would go for a walk together at lunchtime and always drop into the station to go and see [Ticket Lady]. She was one of the few people outside of our family who didn’t start treating him differently because of his obvious disability. My dad and I used to look forward to our chats with [Ticket Lady], and the year my dad finally retired, he bought her and her colleague a huge box of chocolates and a bottle of wine each to thank them for their assistance over the years. 

I moved away a couple of years ago, but I still see [Ticket Lady] sometimes if I visit my parents by train. Seeing her always makes me smile, and she’s the only person who still gets away with calling me “Trouble”.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for December 2020!

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