On a Train

March 2024 Forums Off topic On a Train

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    …or one of many conversations you wouldn’t hear in a socialist society.

    We’ve all been there. Experienced the little complications in life caused by the frustrating world of money. Here’s a typical example of how workers, even ones in the same industry, are set off against one another.

    On a train journey I sat in front of someone wearing a bright orange overall. Must have just come off a shift, I thought, evidently a railway employee, maybe he gets free or reduced price travel, one of the perks of the job.

    Presently the ticket inspector came along and the conversation went something like this.

    Ticket Inspector: “You can’t use your id to travel, you’ll have to pay”.

    Passenger: “OK mate”.

    TI (after a short pause): “My machine won’t accept the chip & pin on your card”.

    Passenger: “There’s nothing wrong with my card”.

    TI: “If the machine won’t accept your card I can’t give you a ticket because I don’t know if there’s enough money in your account”.

    P: “There’s plenty money in my account, there’s probably enough money in it to buy this train”.

    TI: “The machine won’t accept the card and you can’t travel if you haven’t paid”.

    P: “I’ve only got £20 cash.”

    TI:  “You’ll have to get off at Leeds and buy another ticket”.

    P: “I’ll have to get off at Leeds and buy another ticket? That will make me late, I have to be in Manchester by 2 o’clock”.

    TI: “I’m not supposed to give you a ticket if the machine won’t accept chip & pin. If I swipe it, can you assure me there is enough money in your account? Otherwise they’ll take it out of my wages”.

    P: “There’s more than enough money in my account”.

    The ticket inspector duly issued the ticket.

    P: “In future don’t patronise me by asking if there’s enough money in my account”.

    TI: “Don’t try and use your id to travel free in future because it’s not valid. You need a rail warrant or a valid ticket”.

    Ho-hum. What a waste of words and time.

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