The scene: Derby ticket office.
Me: Hello. I was wondering if I could possibly save myself some time in London by buying my underground tickets here?
Man: You mean you want London to U1 singles?
Me: Um. Possibly. I’ve got tickets from Derby to London St Pancras, but my Eurostar leaves from Waterloo, obviously, so I need to get from St Pancas to Waterloo. I think they cost £3.00. The thing is, I usually buy them as I need them but I’m in a bit of a rush today, and on Sunday there tend to be queues as everyone gets off the Eurostar together.
Man: (angry) Yes, like I said, you want London to U1 singles. That’s £6.00 please.
Actually, he didn’t say please. Of course he didn’t. And why would he when I am only a scummy member of the public? (Rhetorical.)
I won’t go into too much detail about how the man actually gave me two tickets which were only valid for that day. Obviously this then caused me massive problems when I tried to use it on Sunday.
…Or did it? Well, no, because the staff at Waterloo and St Pancras were equally dreadful, so I just made the barriers beep a few times, and then they let me through, even though I didn’t have a valid ticket.
All of which raises the question, “Do two wrongs make a right?”
I initially intended to make this a much more long winded rant, but just lost energy. This is exactly how Midland Mainline avoid a million complaints a year, as they make the complaint procedure so mind-meltingly tedious and complicated that you lose the will to live, and just throw the form in the bin and resign yourself to bad service.