A couple of months ago a friend and I traveled by train to a nearby city to enjoy a “girly lunch”, general catch-up, and late birthday celebration (seeing Marvel’s “Avengers Assemble” at the cinema). Thanks to an accident on the way to catching said train, we were running a little behind, and in my rush I purchased the wrong ticket (a single instead of a return) from the machines outside the station. I had just enough time to ask the gentleman at the ticket counter if he could issue the upgrade for me (an extra 25p) for the return, which he did so, and told me to “keep the tickets together”. I assumed he meant the return ticket, and the extra tab showing the upgrade.
At the city station, the exits are manned by automated barriers which take and scan your ticket, then return it if applicable. Because my ticket was a “From X Station to Y Station”, the machine took my ticket and allowed me through, but did not return it (as my “From Y Station to X Station” ticket would, of course, let me back through when I returned).
After our lunch, the film, and a pleasant sorbet dessert in the city center we headed back to the station where, I discovered to my annoyance, that the barriers would not accept my return ticket. When I spoke to the guard at the end gate, he explained it was because it was “only” the upgraded return ticket, and not a ‘proper’ one, but told me it wasn’t a problem, and to head on to the train. My friend and I settled in our seats and continued our discussion of the film we had just seen. Halfway back to our station the conductor came to check our tickets, and so I presented mine (along with my travel pass as necessary), and she very rudely demanded, “Where’s the ticket?”
Confused, I checked that I had, indeed, given her my ticket, and replied that it was right there. She then rolled her eyes at me (as though perhaps I was mentally deficient in some way) and snapped that my ticket wasn’t valid.
A little slow on the uptake (nice girl that Timelady, but not too bright), I realized she meant it was because of the ticket hiccup. Now I knew what she meant, I explained that the ticket barrier had taken the ticket, but the guard there had said it was fine.
“That’s not *my* problem.” Was the snapped reply. “You don’t have the proper ticket.”
Now, I’m very non-confrontational, and was getting quite upset by her demeanor, though I did my best to hide it, and again (very politely) tried to explain why I hadn’t got the ‘rest’ of the ticket, but I *did* have my debit card receipt, if that would help? Again she snapped that it “wasn’t her problem” and stormed off down the train.
I assumed that would be the end of it, but when my friend and I alighted at our station, I saw the conductor talking to one of the station guards, and gesticulating towards me. By the time we got to the exit (we were quite far down the platform) the train had moved on, the conductor on it, and the station guard had retreated to the warm and dry of the station building. I approached both her and the station manager (who was there as well) and explained what had happened with the tickets, and produced both ticket and debit card receipt. I was kindly informed that it was no problem, that I could go straight through. I was also informed, by the guard, that the conductor had told them I would, “Have to pay extra for traveling with an invalid ticket”.
My question to you, EH, is this: Should I have reported this conductor for her behaviour? I can assure you all I was very polite (years in customer service have taught me to keep extremely polite even when being shouted at etc.) but her responses came as though I had either shouted at *her* or had been very rude in some other way. Should I try and report her, or should I just chalk this up to one of life’s experiences? 0824-12
I vote for chalking it up to a life experience.