Testing Out A New Platform Of Kindness

, , | Working | September 24, 2016

(My boyfriend and I are going on our first holiday together. We have a long and fairly expensive train journey to get to our airport for a seven am flight, meaning we have to leave the night before. We get to our train station, and take our tickets to the information booth to find out which platform we need. The lady there says very clearly that we need to go to [Platform]. We make our way there and wait. There’s no sign of the train, and no announcement saying that it will be late. We grab the attention of a train guard and find out the lady has given us the wrong platform number, and we have missed our train. We try to speak to the information lady who denies everything and tells us and her boss that it is our fault. We find another train that night with Expensive Train Line, which offers to honour our original tickets, but we’ll need to make up the cost of the tickets, about £100. I’m a student, so we’re using his income, and this is a big chunk of our holiday spends. At this point I’m tired and upset, and burst out crying in the middle of the station. The customer service advisor is apologetic, but insists there is nothing more he can do. We shuffle off to get some food, miserable that our first holiday had been ruined by one misinformed, rude member of staff. At this point, we heard the tannoy click, but we aren’t really paying attention.)

Tannoy: “…travelling to [Station], please come to the service desk.”

(We carry on in the queue to get our food, when it goes again.)

Tannoy: “Can the young couple travelling to [Station], please come to the service desk.”

Me: “Do you think they mean us?”

Boyfriend: “I’m not sure; I’ll go check it out.”

(Off he goes, while I wait in line for food. About five minutes pass, and my boyfriend starts walking over with a man I don’t recognise.)

Boyfriend: “[My Name], this is [Train Conductor]. He wants to talk to us.”

Train Conductor: “I’ve just been told by [Service Advisor] what’s happened to you today, and please let me just say I’m so sorry. I’d like to offer you a seat each on my train for free, so if you go back to the service desk, [Advisor] will refund your money.”

Me: “Oh, my God. Thank you so much! This really means a lot.” *starts crying again* “Sorry, it’s been a long day.”

Train Conductor: “Oh, don’t be silly. Come on! Go get yourselves on that train and I’ll come check on you after we set off. Tell you what. Put yourselves in first class!”

(We thank him again and get on the train, and settle down in first class. Sure enough, after 20 minutes or so of leaving, he comes and sits with us. He spends the best part of the four-hour journey sitting with us, chatting about our holiday and telling us about his family. We pull up in our station and just before we get off the train, we hear the tannoy click on.)

Train Conductor: “We have just pulled up at [Station], where this train terminates. Thank you for travelling with [Train Line]. We hope to see you again soon. And to the young couple travelling to [Our Holiday Destination], have a safe trip and a wonderful time!”

(This happened two years ago, and it still makes me smile to think of it. So, Mr. Train Conductor, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to help young couple with not much money make their flight, and for blessing us with great memories.)

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