Posted by: crustynomad | July 23, 2008

I don’t like Mondays…

I thought I post some background to my bad day yesterday to show why my frustrations got to me more than they may normally have done.

The plan for the day was to travel to the London office during the morning and work from there before a meeting set at 2.30pm. I was up as normal to help get the kids organised for school and once packed off with Jo, I filled up the laptop bag and just needed to put my shoes on and then I could be away…

First problem: I was deficient in the footwear department to the tune of one

This was a real puzzle as the one available shoe which was now on my foot was found where you would expect it to be – on the shoe rack. Fifteen minutes and several expletives later I locate the missing shoe behind the couch which has become an impromptu den for my youngest daughter. The reason for it being there will probably always be a mystery but at least I could walk without showing the hole in my sock.

Off to the bus stop I go to miss one by a whisker because it was earlier and lo, the subsequent one was late too. Grrrr!

Once in town I wanted to buy a new belt as my last one had snapped. Now we know who ate all the pies.

Problem two: When it came to paying my card was declined and I had an immediate inkling as to why. I was supposed to transfer funds over to cover a particularly nasty bill and had forgotten to do it. I was unable to provide an alternative payment method and couldn’t even check with the bank as my mobile had chosen this moment to pass out.

I headed to my bank and it was as I feared but a kind word with customer services cleared everything up and have subsequently avoided any unpleasant charges. Time was cracking on so I needed to get to the station for a train and fast.

Problem three: I go to purchase my ticket to find I don’t have my company credit card and as nothing else appears to be missing from the wallet I felt justified in accusing my kids again. It later transpired, that my son had liked the look of daddy’s silver card and hid it under his pillow in the same way as he had with Jo’s purse a couple weeks earlier. This of course meant I had to purchase my train ticket on my own card which luckily was back in credit again.

This was fine but all this confusion had caused me to miss a train. I decided to keep costs down with a cheap day travel card at £27 rather than the alternative £81. I knew I could claim back the money but the lower amount would have a lesser impact on my pre-payday spending. The unfortunate consequence of this is that I would have to return after 7.00pm so not to clash with peak times.

At 10.34am I finally boarded a train and once seated I got the phone on charge and hooked up to the wi-fi service. I caught up with a couple of emails and then checked for phone messages…

Problem four: At 10.17 I’d had been called me to say that the meeting had been cancelled and was advised not to travel. If my phone hadn’t died I would’ve picked this message up and avoided all the train issues entirely. Ho hum…

This left me with a dilema. Do I go to London and work and then come back late or just get on the next train back and work out of Peterborough? To me the latter made more sense as I could be at my desk by 1.00pm with five hours work time on offer until 6.00pm. I could still work on the train with the wi-fi connection in any case.

When I got back to Peterborough I walked across the bridge with the steps. There was an old guy in his 70s maybe 80s who had a bag and I offered to carry it for him. He was so grateful. It was really heavy and he had to carry it up stairs on his own – it was bad enough for me going downstairs with it. The sad thing was that no-one stopped to help him earlier.

Before I departed Peterborough in the morning there was a girl in the station shop who wanted her mum to buy a sweet. She looked a little like my daughter but perhaps a little younger, maybe four. I apologise for using stereotypes but her chav mother really laid into her. It was with real venom and seemed totally unnecessary. The girls face just crumpled – she was in bits. They may been in a rush to catch a train but that’s no excuse. I so wanted to give the girl a hug but how can you question how someone else is bringing up their kids?

This affected me more I guess because of the death on Friday of a family friend who had a two year old daughter who is now without a father. A reminder if one was needed that the stress and problems of daily living means very little in the greater scheme of things.

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