Despite being on time, the 4.44 didn’t come. It stopped at the previous station due to reports of a trespasser on the line between that station and us. A trespasser on the line can mean something as silly as someone looking for stray golf balls or kids out for a dare (as one young woman quipped to me, “You gotta love the idiots.”)Or it can be as serious as someone threatening self-harm in which case the police have to be called. Since the control room didn’t know which it was, I didn’t know either. With train delays as with many things in this life, it’s just wait and see.
I went around the station making sure everyone knew that they could make the slow journey into the city on the nearby tram if things got bad. When the announcement came that the delays might be up to 40 minutes there was a mass exodus to the tram stop.
From where you are cut off from the station by boom gates but where everyone could see the train when it came round the corner two minutes later and pulled up at the almost empty platform.
As I watched people streaming back from the tram stop, I confess I hid in the office, but I did answer the knock on the door.
Two angry ladies shouted at me. “This is outrageous,” yelled one. “What are you people playing it? You make us miss the train and now,” she waved as the tram trundled past, “You’ve made us miss the tram as well.”
It was like the bad old days when I used to do the rush hour shift. “We didn’t do it on purpose,” I said. “I’m afraid I’m only as good as the information I get,” I said. “That’s not good enough,” she said and “What’s the point of your job then?” The hardest thing about this situation is that she was in the right. “I can only apologize,” I said. Maybe I should have keep quiet about the tram.
Not the best work day.