Losing your temper in front of people is not cool but deeply embarrassing. Another lesson learnt the other day has encouraged this post.
After a tiring week, which saw me work the equivalent of 56 hours, of which just 24 were paid, it’s safe to say I was run down. I was a ticking time bomb on aching legs, a twitching right eye and uncontrollable sarcasm.
Jumping on the train at a busy London terminal, I was looking forward to heading home and hitting the hay; switching on the radio and falling asleep pretty much straightaway.
After a delay, due to an electrical fault with the doors, we soon left. Gazing through the window as we whizzed past rolling fields, factories and garden fences, all I could think of was walking through my front door.
So as the train approached my stop, I gathered my things and dutifully let a woman pass with her family, followed by suitcases, push chairs and passengers….Here’s what happened…..
The train doors refused to open.
There was no green light, no piercing sound of air waiting to grant the release of the doors, no conductor wielding his keys as he muscled through impatient commuters…
No-one knew what to do; it was evident that this was an isolated incident, as people were making their way across the platform and heading for the exit. So I decided to make a bolt for it. As did about 10 others. So as we all scrambled down the carriage as bemused travellers looked on in dismay, it was apparent that this was not going to work out as we had all silently planned.
I heard the whistle, the signal and the sound of the doors locking, and before I knew it, my plan to travel to the land of nod was about to be postponed. Scuppered. Scrapped.
As the train pulled out of the station, there was a collective sound of expletive deletives as the passengers in my carriage vented their frustrations.
About 15 minutes later, I begrudgingly arrived in what looked like a quaint but derelict market town; the kind of place where all the locals drinks in the Railway Tavern, shops close at 6pm and the vast majority of the takeaway merchants are the only ethnic minorities in the area.
To piss on my parade even further, the next train was not due for an hour, so I thought to myself: “Seeing as I’m here, I may as well take a look around…”
For some reason or another, I was nearly late back for the train, but luckily I made it. And seeing the conductor who had paced up and down the carriage, smugly fining people and regaling his National Rail knowledge to people who clearly couldn’t give a toss, riled me up. When he asked me for my ticket, he gave me a look as if he was saying, “What are you doing on here”, but that was enough to encourage a expletive-ridden tirade, detailing why he wasn’t going to be shown a ticket and why he is responsible for taking me to a place I had no plans of visiting. Ever.
His feeble attempts to apologise only provided other angry passengers with vitriol, but I felt better. Though a bit embarrassed. I felt like the lead character in my very own sitcom. Everyone was laughing. Definitely at me, and not with me…
But I’ll tell you this-when I got home, four hours after finishing work, my head hit the pillow and sleep never felt so good!