Why do I always feel like a child at a birthday party when I get my train to work?
With my ninja like skills and I normally find a seat. But at nearly £500 a month you might think a seat on a train would be guaranteed, but sadly not. The idea of spending the money on a new sofa does appeal – sadly it taking me from Reading to Paddington might be in comfort but I would arrive late in the office everyday.
And then there are times when seats are available but they are reserved. Which introduces a whole new level to the challenge of finding a seat. Where is the reservation from? A sort of lottery and comes with new levels of anxiety. The anxiety of unjust bereavement. Relived you found a seat you earned, but the dread of not knowing if a person will come and seek you out like an assassin and take it away.
In the my new found seated of comfort and smugness, my eyes track the person navigating through the standing passengers. Are they going to kick me out? Will I feel the humiliation of being found out to being a faux fraud?
Seriously, I am a f*cking adult. Yet dealing with these emotions is really difficult. Every time I think I am going to hear those words “I have that seat reserved”. And when I do hear those words, my heart sinks, and I am sure I blush a little. If only they had suffered an pulmonary embolism in the morning while brushing their teeth! (too far?)
It is simply unjust. A reservation system that is broken. The overcrowding is broken. And the simply fact I am spending so much money on travel I should expect a seat. I demand a seat (without the stress).
Yeah, so guess what happened today on my way to work this morning?
As a 20 year veteran of the Reading – Paddington return journey I do empathise with your frustrations. I very rarely have been ousted from reserved seats, but perhaps that is pure luck.
I’m only in London a couple of days a week now and so instead of stressing about fighting for a seat on the way back home I stop for a well justified glass of white wine at the bar.