So I left Romania Monday and arrived back in Cardiff lunchtime yesterday but my journey took me via London Victoria Station...train and bus. It was an interesting place yesterday, as it probably is every day. These transient places attract people from every walk of life, who are not necessarily going to get on with each other.
Two experiences stick in my mind. The first was the man at the ticket office. He served a guy...that became quickly evident...that he'd served before, and the guy legitimately wanted to change his ticket, because he said he'd asked for one bus company and he had been sold a different one.
Nowwwww, maaaayyyybe the customer didn't say 'Megabus' in the original conversation (I wasn't there), but, the seller starts a very brave or possibly foolish line of defence. He immediately starts calling the customer a liar, repeatedly shouting it in his highest pitched 50 kilo voice. Fortunately for him he was behind glass, and this must have given him confidence because the customer wasn't a small guy and looked like he might have been around the block a few times. But to his credit, he was the one who kept his cool, and allowed the phrase, "the customer is always right" to be screwed up in to a ball, dropped, stood on, spat on and then planted firmly up his ****....for a minute or so! Then he responded with his, less than measured approach, and considered for a few moments, to find a way into the office to express his displeasure in a more physical way!
If not for the boss, who told brave seller to move away from the window "NOW", I think he would have been an ex-ticket seller who would have sold his final (incorrect) ticket and gone to the great ticket office in the sky.
Act 2 was the opposite. This time it was a customer, and his friend, who were seemingly on the wrong side of correct. They ran up to to the megabus stand (Gate 20) at 8:05 and demanded to know why, and then couldn't fathom the reason, that the 8:00 bus to Birmingham had already gone. He spent at least 60 animated seconds protesting to a less than interested megabus worker, who continued to look at his watch as if to taunt the man's lack of time-keeping. There seems to be a theme of brave transport workers, willing to push the customer to the edge of wrath!
Other than that the journey was relatively smooth, except for the 6 hours spent in a coffee shop chair in Gatwick airport and the fact that I didn't want to leave Bucharest in the first place!
Until next time, maybe somebody is reading...