Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thank God for Common Sense

The staff were out in force at my local train station last Friday to catch fare dodgers.

It's great, I think. Such people are making other passengers pay for their free rides.

But it was rather inconvenient for me, and could have been worse, as I use the station as a short cut.

When I need to walk to church some 25 minutes away, the station is a convenient short cut as I can keep to paths with low traffic and although I need to use lots of steps instead of walk up and over the railway bridge on the road, I prefer the cleaner air.

I was asked for my ticket as I entered and I explained that I was only passing through the station. I was told I needed a pass or they would charge me when I exited the station. They gave me a pass and I was grateful and exited the station with no bother.

It was a different story on the return journey.

I was at the other entrance. I explained that I was only walking through the station. The guys refused to let me through. I said I had a pass a couple of hours earlier and it was OK.

Guess what? These guys did not have those passes.

I talked to the man who looked like he was in charge. He explained that everyone had been told to walk around the station (which would add another five minutes to my journey, in bad air).

I somehow stubbornly stood there and looked desperate. (In fact I had injured my ankle the previous week and was still bruised.) The man said they would be gone in a few minutes, but I was tired.

I said, truthfully, I had walked through in the morning, I had gone to do some voluntary work, and the least they could do was let me walk through.

He expressed sympathy but said they would charge me a £20 fine at the other exit.

Deep breaths and more desperate looks.

'Ray' finally took his phone out of his pocket and said, "Alright then, you go through, tell the man at the exit that 'Ray' said you could go through."

Yay! Thank God for common sense!

But the other staff around him did not realize I'd been given special dispensation and wanted to check my Oyster pass, etc. After further questioning I was finally allowed to proceed, dropping 'Ray's' name.

At the other exit/entrance, the tall guy who let me through earlier in the morning stopped me briefly, "Can I help you ma'am?"

"Ray said I could walk through."

"OK, ma'am. Just checking."

I like it when people use their brains and are flexible.

So I trudged home with my still sore ankle.

I supposed I could have walked the long way. It wouldn't have killed me. But given the fact that I was tired and cold and had only been to do unpaid work for the community state, it was such a blessing to be able to walk my usual route home, steps and all.

Back to Organic-Ally.

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