Tuesday, 23 September 2008

No ticket

Phew, doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying yourself?
Apologies it’s been so long since I last wrote anything – I haven’t forgotten, I’ve just been busy with other things.

GM is still being a pain. I’m really trying not to let him affect my walk as that makes me as pathetic as he is being, but it’s a bit hard sometimes. Last week I was walking a short distance behind him, but to the left, when he decided to cross the whole path in order to stand right in front of me. I wouldn’t have taken any notice but he managed to time it so I was too close to move by the time I passed him, which meant I had to “excuse me”. I looked like the villain of the piece, basically.

Speaking of which, where does everyone stand on fare dodgers? I’ve noticed in the past few weeks that there always seems to be at least one passenger who does not show their tickets when the guard passes through the train. Now, some may reason that it’s a victimless crime (akin to prostitution) but I would beg to differ. I believe, perhaps incorrectly, that the absence of cash leads to a rise in ticket prices that wouldn’t have occurred if everyone paid their rightful fare.

Yesterday I was on the homeward journey when two men got on at Ely. This station is not equipped with gates, as Cambridge is. The men sat in a double seat across the aisle from and behind me. When the guard walked through the carriage and called for tickets, neither of them moved to get theirs out. I caught the eyes of one, who looked really guilty, to me, anyway. The guard didn’t notice them sweating and ignored them.
I resolved to do something about it the next time the guard came down the carriage, for the reason I announced before. In the meantime, I thought about what I could, or should, do. I could advise the men that if they didn’t show their tickets to the guard, I would ask the guard to see their tickets. I could catch the guard and ask about procedure when dealing with fare dodgers. I could point at the two men and loudly declare “I don’t believe you’ve had the pleasure!”. The possibilities were endless. In the end, it didn’t matter because the guard didn’t appear back in the carriage between then and Thetford, which isn’t a long journey – only about 25 minutes. Regardless, I still felt that I should have done something else. I pay £16.00 a day for my train journey – why should I pay for the people who are too lazy/tight to buy their own tickets?
Just as an FYI – a single adult ticket from Ely to Thetford is £7.60*. Which means those two men lost the train company £15.20 in that twenty minute journey.
To add insult to injury, a man got on at Attleborough who obviously didn’t have a ticket either! That’s a whole £4.80* down the drain.
What can we do? Count people? Take photographs of every passenger? Have a conductor stand on the platform for every train and count the passengers who get on, then let the on board guard know how many to expect? It’s tough. But there must be a more efficient way to make sure the law abiding citizens don’t end up paying for the shirkers. Hmm, a bit Daily Mail there, I think. Still, my point is valid.

Ah. Operation Hush update – goal achieved! I have informed my employers so I feel comfortable writing about the bare bones in the public domain. I have been offered a job with a well-known employer in Norwich, which I have accepted. Among other things, it means that I will be able to set my alarm clock later than 06.25 and still get to work before 9am. Bliss. Of course, this also means that I will no longer be able to blog about the train journey to work now. However, as Miss F correctly pointed out “I can blog about the walk to work”. The posts may be shorter.
I have a notice period to work but I should be able to start my next job within the next month.

I treated myself to some things. A bit naughty, I know, but soon I will not have to spend £250 a month on travel, so I felt that I was allowed.

Blue sparkly ambrosia resides here...

Aren’t they beautiful? Thanks to Amazon for providing that link and for pointing me in the direction of shoetopia. Ha.
I also bought some books that I’ve been meaning to buy for a while, including Eugenides’ “Middlesex” , which I think sounds fascinating. Ooh, and I bought “The Fountainhead” as the last three books I’ve read have mentioned it, and how great it is. Seriously. I haven’t read anything amazing for a while. I really enjoyed “The Handmaid’s Tale” *which mentions Ayn Rand) although I’m shocked to remember it being on the GSCE reading list. Did anyone study this for GCSE and find themselves traumatised by it?

Okay, I must rush off. Thanks for reading, as always. As soon as my html whizzkid is free there will be a new blog, complete with the spangly things I have envisioned.

*prices correct at time of print.


Anonymous said...

SHOETOPIA!!!!!!!!!!! Nooooooooooooooo. We're not allowed to sublet.

SMR said...

Ha. Don't worry, I plan to shoe cull sometime soon! xx