I came back home from a meeting in London recently and just managed to catch the train. It was about to leave when I got to the platform, so I had to leap into the end carriage and then as the train moved off, I drunkenly walked through the six, almost empty, first class carriages and made my way to the entirely full second class section at the front of the train. By the time I found an empty seat I must have nearly walked all the way to Milton Keynes!
I wanted to do some notes after my meeting so I advanced up the train in search of an empty table seat in one of the two ‘quiet’ carriages in the 15 carriage train :-(, tripping over sticking-out feet and nudging elbows out of the gangway as I made my way past seat after occupied seat. The ‘quiet’ carriage was chock-a-block and many of the seats elsewhere were ‘reserved’. Eventually I found an table seat occupied by a coat without a ticket, although the coat did appear to have a reservation. When I enquired, the adjacent passenger grudgingly removed the coat and I, not unreasonably, assumed that unless the reservee was about to parachute onto the train, I was safe to sit down at last. I squeezed a space on the table for my papers among the i-Pads, laptop computers, kindles, blackberries, Costa coffee take-away latte and Pret-a-Manger crumbs-everywhere crusty baguette – an internet cafe come foodhall on rails!
It was then when Harry started his phone call. I had never met Harry before and he was two seats away from me, but I felt I knew him quite well by the end of my journey. He obviously thought that his phone didn’t work very well so he shouted down it. The person he was calling must have had to hold the phone well away from the ear. Sadly, I and the other ‘noisy carriage’ passengers had no such option. We heard all about Harry’s day at work – he was an electrician and spent the journey talking to his boss about the problems he had been having with a circuit board. By the end of the journey, most of the passengers could probably have passed a B.TEC in Electrical Engineering, given the training course 🙂 we had all received.
Fortunately for Harry, we pulled into Rugby Station just as I was about to beat him over the head with a baguette.