Won’t Stand For It

, , , , | Right | January 28, 2019

(I’m a passenger in a very overcrowded train going from Leipzig to Berlin. The train left the station ten minutes late and even more people get in. Two passengers check their reservations and ask a couple to vacate their seats.)

Standing Passengers: “Give us these seats. We reserved them.”

Sitting Passengers: “Strange, we also reserved these seats. Maybe you are in the wrong car?”

Standing Passengers: “No, these are our seats.”

Sitting Passengers: “We are sorry, but these are not your seats. Here, see? These are the reservations for these seats.”

(This keeps going for another minute, the standing passengers are getting louder, so that the whole car can listen to their shouting. Meanwhile, the train starts moving and the conductor appears.)

Conductor: “Good afternoon. What seems to be the problem here?”

Standing Passengers: “These people are sitting in our seats and won’t give them to us.”

(The sitting passengers are trying to get a word in but are interrupted by the standing passengers. They quietly hand their tickets and reservations to the conductor.)

Conductor: *to the standing passengers* “I’m sorry, but these passengers reserved these seats. Can I please see your tickets?”

Standing Passengers: *hand over their tickets, while complaining about the train service in general* “This is unacceptable. We reserved these seats. We want to be compensated!”

Conductor: “I’m sorry, I found the problem. You booked seats on the train that is leaving for Berlin in five minutes.”

Standing Passengers: “But this train goes to Berlin.”

Conductor: “Yes, this train also goes to Berlin but it was delayed and so the departure times of both trains were nearly identically.”

Standing Passengers: “But we booked seats. It’s unacceptable for us to stand.”

Conductor: “Well, it’s the book fair in Leipzig today and therefore the train is full. There are a lot of people standing.”

Standing Passengers: “This is unacceptable and bad service.”

Conductor: “Well, you are in the wrong train. I cannot do anything about that.”

Standing Passengers: “How rude! Give us your name, so we can complain to Deutsche Bahn.”

Conductor: “Gladly, my name is [Conductor].”

(Lots of people started sniggering and the standing passengers ran off to the next car. I really would have liked to listen in on their telephone call with the complaint department.)

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