A post about nothing in particular, other than the not very good day that I had.
It’s amazing how quickly your day can go downhill, although to be fair it didn’t exactly start well. I was due to go to London for an interview. An interview for a one day a week role, where I will receive no pay and have to travel quite a considerable distance.
I say I was due to go to London, the previous day I had a conversation with the person organising the interviews. It was towards the end of the day, judging by the length of time the line was engaged when I tried to return the call; it was a busy day for the person I needed to speak to. Ours was a brief chat, in which, I helpful said,’ yes’, ‘yes’ and ‘sure I can do that’. I was told the details would be emailed to me; I was to fill an empty slot that had just come up for the next day. I went back to the day job with the plan being to figure out the details later that evening.
Emails, instant messages, the ability to send reams of information instantly to someone who can receive it whether at their desk or out grabbing a coffee, is fantastic. It’s fantastic when it works. It is slightly problematic when it doesn’t work and you have fallen in to the trap of relying on it.
Fortunately I have a reasonably good memory and had at least jotted down my interview time. I took a guess, from the little I had gleaned from the conversation, that the interviews would be held at the organisations head office. So I charted my course for London and was up early the next day to catch the train, with fingers crossed that I was heading in the right direction.
Of course thanks to Murphy’s Law, or Sod’s depending on your school of belief, things did not run smoothly. I don’t know why I expected the ticket machines to be working at the station, clearly a rookie mistake, one which left me still fumbling for my debit card at the ticket office while my train pulled out of the station. Being a resourceful young lady I dash through the barriers and on to the next train figuring it was at least heading in the right direction and could work out the details once I had a seat.
The train I had boarded was heading to a different London terminal to the one I usually disembark at. Not I problem, in fact it passed through a station which allowed me to access the tube line I needed without having to change, not saving me time, but certainly not costing me any.
I settled back to read my book, keeping one ear tuned into the station announcements as we rattled from suburb to suburb. I had just lifted my head to peer across the changing landscape, and congratulated myself for not being one of the poor people stuck on the snaking line of buses I could see crawling along, when we pulled into another one line station. I was wondered where, geographically, the unfamiliar station name lay relative to places I knew. As I did so the guard announced that an electrical fault, at a station I had heard of, which meant that our train would be terminating where we sat.
Cue much annoyance from all around me and mild panic on my part. Everyone disembarked and stood on the platform like a flock of un-shepherded sheep. I had been just about to ring the interviewing agency, to confirm I was heading in the right direction, before we were unceremoniously dumped out mid journey. I decided to make the phone call anyway, as if I was headed to the wrong place, I could at least call the whole expedition off and afford myself the time for a minor meltdown at my predicament. I was informed that I was indeed heading in the right direction and that the train issues were affecting a few people so even if I was late I might still be ok. Swallowing my meltdown and trying to think clearly through the rising fog of anxiety, I considered my options. Fortunately just as I had ruled most of them out a new announcement was made that the train would be continuing on, but to yet another London terminal. I quickly concluded that I had at least heard of the destination and that it had a tube connection so this was my best bet.
Twenty minutes after the train should have arrived it its destination it finally pulled up. I have to say my relief that we hadn’t been stranded in some of the places we had passed through, like Peckham Rye and Millwall, just about outweighed my frustration at having been on a train that was travelling at roughly the same speed as a sleep walking zombie. I dialled the agency to update my status, but it seems that others hadn’t had quite such badly affected journeys as me. I was told I wouldn’t make my interview slot and I could either be seen in six hours or come back another day.
Surprisingly I opted for a different date and having been on the road, so to speak, for an hour and a half at this point, turned to head homewards having achieved nothing other than a mild headache. I am extremely grateful to the information service’s chap who helped me out at the rather confusing London terminal I found myself in. Patiently explaining to me how to get a tube back to somewhere I would recognise and understanding my reluctance to get a bus. Having just been on a form of transport confined to a rail that hadn’t gone where it was supposed to, the idea of boarding a bus which had so much more freedom to go off-route wasn’t appealing.
I made it home three hours after I had left, with nothing to show apart from a greater geographical knowledge of south east London and a lesson learned about the perils of delayed gratification. Buy the doughnut when you see the doughnut, there might not be Krispie Kreme at the next station.