Monday was an unmitigated disaster. Thank you Network Rail, and East Midlands Trains. Between you, you screwed up my entire day. A train journey that should have been one change and two and a half hours turned into a three and a half hour nightmare that made me late for work and tired beyond belief.
It started as a nice day. It was sunny, everyone was in a good temper, Ted got me to Lincoln train station with lots of time to spare. Going through the ticket barrier I was advised there was a signal failure on my route and I’d have to get a bus link from Nottingham to Leicester. Annoying but not major in itself. On arrival at Nottingham the station staff were helpful, pointing us straight away to the rail replacement bus, so there was no hanging around confused.
Except that the bus link took ages and I got impatient and forgot my suitcase when I got in to Loughborough and had to run back for it. Then once on the platform the train I was supposed to catch was late by over half an hour and was announced that it would only stop at Leicester and London. The system failure was so great that even the station staff could only say to keep listening for announcements.
I gave up all hope of being on time for work and rang up to let my team leader know I was likely to be late. Once on that train that would take me to Leicester it was so full with people trying to get where they were going there was absolutely no way of sitting anywhere, and in addition, people were panicking because of the fullness, they had to get off at Leicester, but could they?
We made it safely but not happily to Leicester, and station staff were able to point us straight to the correct platform, but the train wasn’t going to leave for half an hour and it was locked so no one could get on.
By this time the frustration had bought be to the verge of tears. I’m the kind of person who needs things to go generally to plan. I can cope with some change, but this kind of wholesale mayhem was too much. Calls from Dan did help me to focus, but I was so tired and the effort of trying to stay calm and focussed on the task of getting home and on to work was just too much. I can usually rest and enjoy a coffee and some music on train trips, so “normally” it doesn’t matter if I’m a bit tired on Monday morning. Hah.
The train was unlocked ten minutes before departure, so we climbed on and pulled out as scheduled. Then followed the trying to get enough phone signal to call the taxi company to get a taxi from the station. I finally managed to make the call less than twenty minutes away from Bedford. I don’t like that kind of short notice, I get worried that the driver might not have enough time to get there.
I got in to Bedford an hour after I normally would, raced out of the station and got straight in the taxi home. I raced through the door, dropped my bags, fed the cats, gave myself a sandwich, picked up juice and something for later and raced out of the door in time to be five minutes late for work.
After this kind of epic morning, work was a nightmare. I had absolutely no go for six of the eight hours. All I wanted to do was sleep, except that they don’t pay me to sleep on the job. Fortunately they were kind enough to give me relatively simple jobs that I didn’t have to think too hard about and could do sitting down. Toward the end of the shift I managed to lose some of the stress and become a functioning person, but even now; next day, having eaten, slept and eaten again, I’m still wishing I never had to catch another train again.
I swear I’m going to find a way to learn to drive. Nightmares like this don’t happen often, but trains being late and changes to the journey happen too often for me.