Friday, 3 November 2017
A painful lesson
When the train started early, I felt smug. Good thing I got here on time, I thought. How sad that all those people who arrive on time will miss it. Ah, hubris...for nemesis was soon to follow.
For slowly, a thought came to me. Trains don't usually leave early (fifteen minutes early, to be precise). Better check the booking ticket attached to the seat. I turned and looked at it. Oxford, it said. OXFORD! I didn't want to go to Oxford! Panic!
With help from a lovely man with the right kind of mobile, which had all the trains and times on it, I discovered that my (Oxford) train would arrive at Reading about 5 minutes before my (home) train. a five minute window in which to change trains. Hm. Reading is a very big station. Time to get professional help.
To cut a long (or longer) story short(er), I found a lovely guard, and the man selling snacks, both equipped with those right kinds of phones, with timetables, and updates. My (Oxford) train was running late; my (home) train was on time. Bugger.
But with much encouragement from both, I did what for me is quite a sprint up and down escalators between platforms, and just caught my (home) train. Phew.
The moral of this story is: IF YOUR TRAIN LEAVES EARLY, YOU'RE ON THE WRONG TRAIN.
I have been repeating this mantra to myself ever since. (Oh, and I wrote to Great Western Railways to congratulate them on their wonderful staff. I do hope my two helpers get the message.)