Excellence, arrogance, success and failure

Since moving here, a constant source of amazement has been derived from the local mass transit authority: SEPTA. They have many, many, flaws but overall I have to admit that they do an equivalent, if not better, job with their resources than TfL (sorry Simon). The day after 15 inches of snow fell, despite the forecasters’ assurances that it wouldn’t happen, the trains ran on-time.

More importantly, the staff have always been essentially helpful, accurate and friendly. “You’re leaving me early?” asked my lovely morning 99 driver on the day I was too tired to realise I was at the wrong stop. She is the model on which all bus drivers should be based btw.

And let’s not forget Philly’s favorite bus driver, Bruce, who holds court over every bus he drives, and manages to get a laugh out of every passenger. In fact if a single passenger failed to crack a smile, I’m sure he would take it personally.

The other impressive SEPTA victory is the “regional rail”: each train arrives and departs on time, and includes a full staff of helpful, friendly people who not only understand the byzantine fare-structure but can advise passengers on the cheapest way to complete a journey. It’s like they enjoy their jobs, and take pride in providing a good service! One excellent guy told me about an obscure type of pass called a “Cross County” which was absolutely perfectly suited to my particular way of life. $100 a month for any journey I could take to work, combined with travel anywhere on the network, on whatever medium, over the weekends! It was cheaper than I was paying for a one-way journey each way.

So, when you meet the type of officious cock-end I’m used to meeting with TfL, it’s a shock. Last week I lost my monthly pass. This is quite stressful because it is worth a significant amount of money. However one particular kid on the train wasn’t prepared to deal with me and my obvious fare-evasion ploy and gave me what I can only describe as a “right load of shit”. I offered him the receipt for the pass and his response was “that’s no good to me. I need a ticket.”
“Smartass!” said the elderly lady across the way from me (presumably directing her irritation to the young cock…although I suppose it could have been directed at me…anyway…)
Fortunately, my main man was also on the train and he vouched for me (he was the one that told me about the cross county pass in the first place).
I got home and searched everywhere I could before Michele found the pass in one of my shirts. I now look forward to seeing Mr Bellend again. Some people choose to grow beyond harbouring grudges…I am not one of them.


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