It was all going so smoothly until I met Ian. Ian is a "Customer service assistant" for the Abellio train service more commonly known as the mafia of terrible transport. I go to print out my carefully planned journey and prepaid for ticket and the machine (which showed me more manners and humanity than Ian) informs me that I've already printed my ticket out and to seek help.
I look carefully through the 26 very similar looking tickets I was given for my 'out' journey and cannot locate the return so I turn to Ian. Firstly Ian is nowhere to be seen so I wait patiently next to the huddle of 3-4 staff who just happen to be hanging out next to "Customer care" desk, until one of them asks the woman BEHIND me if they can help....I look over and smile sweetly and say "Oh are you supposed to be behind the desk then?" Apparently not because in saunters Ian.
He doesn't address me or look at me, just sort of stares at the desk while I explain what has happened. He takes the other pile of tickets, none of which are the ones I need, asks to see my rail card which is definitely not important but these Mafia types eh, they follow the rules if nothing else! I should probably mention at this point Ian has still not looked me in the eye, so I don't know how he could prove that railcard was mine or not?! Does he even have eyes? I simply cannot say. He looks physically pained to sift through my tickets, I can empathise with this as it's early and I'm feeling like okay me and Ian can get through this until he utters this sentence - "I see, you chose to leave some of the tickets in the machine" erm WHAT?! Yes Ian, of course I CHOSE to leave them there because that is what I'm all about, causing trouble for myself and having teeny tiny human interactions with fuck wits like yourself, it's how I get my kicks, you got me dude you really got me there!
But I do not say this, I look at him in disbelief and then whisper passive aggressively 'I didn't chose to do that.' He doesn't appear to have heard me but then again his facial expression has only shifted once in the last 2 minutes from glazed over self hatred to actual pain at having to do some work, so how would I know if he'd heard or not?! We have a sort of 5 second stand off where I am looking at Ian, and Ian is back looking at the desk hoping that I'll somehow disappear or materialise into a doughnut or something but I am not going anywhere. Eventually he sighs (more pain at my very existence) and tells me he will only help me get to London but not any further, the people at Euston will have to help me. Cheers Ian. You're a real inspiration to humanity. He prints me off a ticket and slides it over to me.
As I take the ticket and put it in my purse I notice I had the tickets all along, just in another compartment. I am momentarily toy with the idea of pulling them out and gleefully shouting I didn't choose, see! I realise that that probably makes me more of an nincompoop than he already quite blatantly thinks I am. So I turn to leave and walk past the giant whiteboard with a cheery quote, something along the lines of "One word of kindness can make a difference to someone's day." Ian has clearly not read this mantra or maybe he didn't see it because it was above his one metre allowance of vision! 😠
To top it all off nicely, the tube was delayed which caused me to miss my train and because I prebooked I had to pay another £55 for a ticket and then I accidentally turned and burped in the face of the lady sitting behind me.