Free Chocolate – The perfect word combination?

  • 2/6/14
  • Richmond – Waterloo – Waterloo East – London Bridge
  • London Bridge – Waterloo East – Waterloo – Kingston
  • Kingston – Richmond

Today’s trip to Guy’s was remarkable only for being barely worth comment. Well, I say barely, but there’s always something worthy of note.

Getting into the station at Richmond was tricky thanks to some numpty in a Transit who’d parked on double yellow lines blocking the drop kerb. I did look for the thoughtless Herbert, but catching the train became a higher priority before I smoked him out. Oh well, next time.

The guys at Richmond got me on the train, despite me turning up only a couple of minutes before departure. I’ve spoken before about the importance of a good relationship with the staff at stations. It really shouldn’t make a difference, but time after time it’s clear that it does.

I was met promptly at Waterloo by a staff member I know well enough to exchange pleasantries with. He has very white hair and doesn’t look fit enough to be handling the ramp, in fact if I was asked I’d say he was past retirement age, and that would be a shame. He’s always greeted me cheerfully and made it feel like he enjoys delivering this important service. Maybe it’s time to adopt the B&Q approach of employing older staff members by choice.

The visits to Waterloo East and London Bridge went okay. Again there was no-one to meet me at Waterloo East on the journey back, but the PA jumping up and down on the platform attracted the right attention. It goes to show again how important company is when travelling.

In the departure hall at Waterloo, and pay attention because this is the noteworthy part, Cadbury were running a chocolate promotion. A large screen, about 35 feet wide (that about 426inches, suck on that Currys Sale) had an augmented reality scene showing the concourse with chocolate shapes. Anyone who could bash these shapes by waving their arms ‘won’ a Wispa. It was one of those beautiful moments in life where adults remember how to play like children, but also sad for the number of grown ups who steadfastly remain grown up. It was all being filmed, look out for the adverts.

The trip to Kingston was uneventful. Unfortunately when it came time to leave for Richmond later in the evening the sole staff member was ‘out and about’ on cleaning duties. Fortunately, and despite it being beyond his duties, the Night Security volunteered to get me on the train.

The lesson for today is clearly that ‘A Service Ethic’ is still alive and well on the railway, and essential to disabled travellers.

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About Alan

I'm an Economist, Geek, Campaigner & wheelchair user who's been using all forms of public transport for 20+ years.
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