#2 – Train drama.

The car was pure broke so I had get the train. There was a black girl in the station that didn’t know how to use the ticket machine. She went up to the steward at the door and asked him for help. He was white Irish, Midlands thick. Always up for being contrary, looking for the fight, thinks he’s Steven Segal and the station might be under attack. He looked at her suspicious, like she might be some kind of scam. He listened, incredulous, then shook his head and said he couldn’t help her and it wasn’t his job anyway. He was just there to mind the door.

          So she went back pressing buttons. Dublin Connolly? Dublin Heuston? City Centre? Collect Prebook tickets? Single? Day Return? It was all nonsense. She went on the phone, made no headway there. Asked other passengers but they didn’t want to know. So she went back your man again, said:

         ‘Please, you work here. I need your help.’

         He gave her the up and down, said: ‘I’m not here to help you.’

         ‘Can you please tell me how to buy a ticket?’

         ‘No. And you’re not gettin on the train without one.’

A second lad came along. Wiry. Security badge on his arm. A name like Estefan. Cold eyes behind the mask. Delighted there was some action. He crowded the girl, asked: ‘What’s the problem here?’

         Segal said: ‘Has no ticket.’

         ‘No ticket?’

         ‘Nothin.’

         She got nervous, said: ‘I just don’t know how to use the machine.’

         ‘It’s over there.’

         ‘I know, but I need you to help me.’

         ‘Why would we help you?’

         ‘Because you work here, and I don’t know what I’m doing…’

         Segal huffed. Estefan leaned in closer, like he was going to sniff her, said: ‘Where you goin?’

         ‘Dublin. I need to see my child and I can’t miss the train.’

         ‘Well you won’t be comin through here without a ticket.’

         She sighed, backed away a bit, wondered, then said: ‘How bout this – I get on the train and I buy from somebody on there that might actually help me?’

         Segal rolled his eyes. Estefan stood at the door, arms folded said: ‘You’re not goin anywhere.’

         Noise stage left, a door squeals, enter a third employee, wearing a high viz vest with the company logo and name on the back. Had the look of someone with authority and experience in customer service, maybe even conflict resolution. He walked over, asked: ‘What’s the problem here?’

         She spoke first, said: ‘I’m really sorry, but I can’t use the machine and these two guys refuse to help me, maybe it’s my fault, call me lazy or whatever, but I just can’t figure it out….’

         High viz looked at her, at the two lads, raised his arms, said: ‘I’m sorry, but if you’re too lazy to bother gettin a ticket then you won’t be gettin any help from anyone here. Now, that’s the end of it…’

         She started to protest but the train arrived. A heaving horse on the platform. Passengers with tickets trying to get through. Segal like a bouncer watching in case she made a dash.

         I walked over, said: ‘I’ll show you how to buy a ticket.’

         ‘Can you please?’

         ‘C’mon.’

         There, she gave me her visa card and pin number, said: ‘Please just get me a ticket to get to Dublin so I can see my kid, that’s all I want. I should sue this place.’

         The ticket popped out. The train made noises like it was about to take off. I said: ‘Run.’

         And she did. Segal made sure to take a good look at the ticket on her way out. She said it was a disgrace what happened. He followed her all the way up the platform and to the door of the carriage, shouting: ‘It’s not my job to be buying tickets for the likesa you….do you think I’ve nothin better for doin….?’

         And then she was on and the train was gone.

         After, all three stood around. Estefan, Segal, High Viz, said things like: ‘Never again….shouldn’t have to put up with that kinda thing from anyone…if she ever walks through that door I’ll make sure she’s not allowed get a train ever again from here…who does she think she is???’

**

https://mickdonnellan.com/want-to-buy-mick-donnellans-novels-on-amazon/

2 thoughts on “#2 – Train drama.

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