This Is Going To Be A Train Wreck

, | Long Beach, CA, USA | Right | July 31, 2017

(The metro stations in town are going renovations and are closed for the weekends for the following month. Despite multiple posted messages I find people keep trying to board the train station near my home. I’m on the adjacent street when I hear a woman screaming on the platform.)

Woman: “Where is the f****** train! I’ve been waiting for a god-d***d hour! Stupid workers should all be fired!”

(Before I can do anything I hear the intercom turn on.)

Intercom: “Ma’am, I have already instructed you, the stations are closed and will be closed until Monday. You have to take the shuttle at [Nearby Bus Stop] to the nearest active platform.”

Woman: *shouting at intercom speaker* “F*** you, you stupid b****! If the station was closed they would have said something about it! I’m not leaving until you bring the train here!”

(From the street I could see that the ticket machines were bolted closed, the meter readers covered with orange safety hoods, and a pair of signs at the entrance saying the station was closed. The woman had walked by all of this seemingly without noticing anything amiss. Amazingly, she took another 20 minutes of convincing before finally leaving the train station.)

Mom Is Bus-ted

, , | Related | July 31, 2017

(We have just arrived in Switzerland after traveling through Germany and Austria on foot for a holiday. My mother is infamously unwilling to believe that maps or locals know what they’re talking about. I have taken charge of getting us to housing for visitors to a local attraction.)

Mom: “Where are we going?”

Me: “Tempelstrasse 9 in Sollikofe.”

Mom: “But I looked up the website and they said Munchenbuchsee was the mailing address. It didn’t say anything about Sollikofe.”

Me: “I have the physical address from the site and the person who made our reservation directed me to Sollikofe. That’s why we took the train to Sollikofe.”

Mom: “LOOK! The bus to Munchenbuchsee. That’s the one we need.”

(She grabs her suitcase and climbs on board while I try to explain that no, we are literally a quarter of a mile from the housing.)

Mom: “I don’t have any francs. How much is the bus?”

Driver: “4 francs 60 per person.”

Mom: “Pay him.”

Me: “But we’re trying to go to—”

Mom: “The site says we have to go to Munchenbuchsee from the train station. PAY HIM and we’ll get directions on which stop to take.”

Me: *to driver* “We need to go to Tempelstrasse 9, Sollikofe.”

Driver: “I don’t know where that is. Take this bus to Munchenbuchsee and they’ll give you the bus number you need to take to Tempelstrasse.”

(I resignedly pay because no one will help me. We sit down and a nice lady leans over.)

Lady: “Where are you trying to go?”

Me: “Tempelstrasse 9, Sollikofe.”

Lady: “Oh, where you can stay for the [Local Attraction]! I know exactly where that is! Why did you get on the bus?”

Me: “Because no one would listen to me.”

Lady: “Get off here and you can take another bus back to the train station and walk for five minutes from there.”

Mom: “You mean you forced me to get on the wrong bus?”

(I turned and glared at her. She shut up immediately. We got off at the next stop and the lady drove us five minutes to the front door of the housing, while Mom kept repeating “Why didn’t you tell me we could have walked there?!”)

Trained To Take Trains From High-Vis Staff

, , , , , | Right | June 10, 2017

(I am a contract truck driver doing short haul. This means I catch a train to where the truck is, drive it and then catch a train to the next job or home. I have a large bag of essentials and a small folding bike with me, but above all I am wearing a hi-vis jacket. I catch a LOT of trains. I have just dropped off a truck at Gatwick Airport and am standing perusing the departure board for the trains when someone comes and taps me on the shoulder.)

American Lady: “Excuse me, can you tell me where the train to Victoria goes from?”

Me: “Erm… From Platform 4 or 5, they alternate. Take the lift over there and listen to the announcements.”

(I turned back and work out my own train was going in 20 minutes from Platform 7. As I was about to head there another couple approached me with the same question. I directed them, too… and the next… and the next. At one point I had a small queue. At no point did anyone question that I had a bike and bag with me. They just saw the hi-vis and made the assumption. After 15 minutes I made my escape and caught my own train.)

In A Day’s Daze

| Norway | Right | March 7, 2017

(We sell season tickets which last for 30 days. We always write the last day they can use their card before they need to fill it again. Not everyone agrees on the date that is written on.)

Customer: “Wait! It’s October 29th today. Shouldn’t it be 29th of November?”

Me: “You pay for 30 days, you get 30 days, ma’am. October has 31 days. If you count the day you validated your card, then you have a valid card to the 27th of November.”

Customer: “It makes no sense!”

(This is one of the mild cases. I often have to bring up the calendar to count the days they have paid for and received. Some customers accuse me of stealing two of the days they have a “right” to get.)

Not Very Sheepish

| Wales, UK | Right | December 15, 2016

(I work in a train station for a very rural line. Trains are two hourly, which city visitors don’t always understand.)

Customer: “Hi! When’s the next train to [Major English Hub Station]?”

Me: “The next one’s at 16:56; about half an hour.”

Customer: “Really? Did I just miss one? Bummer.”

Me: “No sir, the last one was 14:55, approximately one hour and a half ago.”

Customer: “Very funny!”

Me: “Sir, I’m serious. This is a rural line. We have two hourly trains. Look!” *points to massive timetable poster next to where he is standing*

Customer: “Bloody h***! You just got sheep around here or what?”

Next Customer In Line: *an elderly local legend* “Yep, now baaaaaa-gger off if you’re not buying tickets! I’ve got a gammy knee and it’ll take me that half hour to walk around to the platform!”

Me: *trying not to laugh*

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