Wow what a morning.
I am female which should go without saying about once a month I get terribly irritable, overly tired, grouchy, irrational and emotional (sorry militant feminists I’m not doing womankind an injustice, just stating fact) What I could do without at about the same time as the PMS monsters strike is a morning like I experienced today.
Which in fact started last night with a disappearing cat and a late night wake up call by the other half arriving back from a meeting a half past midnight. It was this and the 5am thunderstorm that woke me which resulted in me getting only 5 hours sleep and set me up for the rest of the day.
Up and dressed by 7:30am I needed my breakfast and cup of tea so headed out in the rain to the shop. More than damp I returned milk in hand to start my day, and agreed given the storm that was raging to head out a little earlier and take TBK to school in the car ( we usually make him walk as it’s only 10 mins away but damn did you see the rain this morning).
Starting the car it all started to go wrong. Up pops the ABS warning light and every time I hit the breaks even at low speeds they kick in juddering to a halt. Dropping TBK just up from the school gates I do a U-turn and return home, the warning light is still on, however the brakes are behaving better BUT considering the torrential rain, thunder and lightening I figure it’s best to dump the car and jump on the bus/train rather than run the risk of the brakes failing somewhere on the M5 .
At home I have a heated conversation with other half about the merits of trying to use public transport in this weather given its track record of unreliability, call my boss to let him know the score and that I’m going to be late and leave the car to head for the bus.
By this point I’m pissed off! Pissed at the car – after the debacle with the last one anything that goes wrong with this one leads be towards mild panic. I’m pissed at James who in my already pissed off state has made me feel like he doesn’t understand the responsibility I feel of heading into the office when shit like this happens (the joys of being self employed). I have PMS. I’m sticky and wet – the humidity and the storm both getting me and I’m trying to find out what’s the best way to get to the new office as I’ve not done it on public transport yet.
Wolves train station I buy my ticket, tuck it into my purse and check departures. Fuck! Delays of up to 45 minutes – I text my boss to let him know I’m going to be even later, nip to the loo and then play platform bingo for the next 20 minutes while updates are being given and platforms moved after a lightening strike somewhere on the line.
Finally on the train I find a seat and settle down to enjoy the journey, All is well until we near Birmingham and the train manger enters the carriage. I open my bag in search of my ticket and panic sets in. It’s not there!!! My purse is just gone! Not purse means no ticket, no cash, no cards! I start emptying my bag onto the table in front of me. Fuck Fuck Fuck. As the inspector gets closer I can feel myself tearing up. Images of of fare dodgers being frog marched from the train fill my head “I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE” and then I can see my purse, sitting next to the sink where I washed my hands, back on platform 2 of Wolves Station, It’s the final straw and I burst into tears. The train manager (whose name I sadly didn’t get) takes one look at me and knows I need help – and that I’m not trying to pull the wool over his eyes! He sits opposite me, listens to me and gets out his phone. He calls his head office in Cardiff because they don’t have numbers for individual stations and tries to help me get in touch with someone who can help.
Kindness of Strangers
By this point were pulling into New Street and we get off the train, standing on the platform he tries calling Cardiff again – while he’s doing this a fellow passenger jumps off the train and offers me money -He’d been listening in the whole time and offered me enough to pay any fine I may have for not having my ticket and to get me out of the station to sort myself out. I tell him it wouldn’t be necessary, the train manager has already said I wont be fined but he lifts my spirits enough to stop me crying! The manager tells me they haven’t had any joy and asks for my mobile number so Cardiff can call me direct and apologetically gets back on the train to continue his journey.
So there I am tear stained in the belly of New Street station and my next thought is how the hell do I get out with no ticket to get me through the ticket barriers… What happened was me and my tear stained faced appearing in front of the ticket staff recanting my story and being ushered understandingly to the customer service desk to help me on my way. They called Wolverhampton for me and a member of staff there went and found my purse exactly where I’d left it – but £10 lighter – and I was able to make arrangements with them for my husband to fetch it for me.
The staff were great.
Money Money Money
The next step was for me to get the office via the bank to try and get cash to eat and get home that evening. Thankfully I can recall my account number and sort code so I thought it would be a case of rocking up to the bank, giving them my story, bank details, answering a couple of security questions and walking away with some cash… no such luck. Why after the morning I’d had did I think it was going to be that easy!
I gave the teller my story and why I didn’t have my card and she asked me to write down my details and sign a slip…. 30 seconds later, the computer said NO!!
The signature they had on file for me didn’t match the one I’d just supplied! It’s hardly surprising considering it has been 15 years since I opened my account but damn what a time to realise. But I think the teller also realised now was not a good time to be telling me no, off she went to find a manager who thankfully, given my predicament, and that I could reel off a list of the direct debits and the dates they went out of my account let me take out enough money for lunch and the train journey home.
Thankfully my day at work went without a hitch my lovely boss was incredibly understanding of the disheveled mess that arrived over 2 hours late and still let me out on time to attempt the return journey home – which thankfully went a little smoother than the journey into work.
I’ve booked the day off tomorrow to the get the car looked at. Wish me luck!