Being a creature of habit, any change to my routine can have catastrophic consequences for the rest of my day. On Friday morning at 6:10am, I am usually in a good mood, having that Friday feeling spring in my step. The weekend is so close, you can almost taste it in the cold air of the Bath Road as I make my way down to the station. I am used to the odd train delay on our Victorian railway system but on this occasion, I was at the station much earlier than usual, so I was able to catch a different service, when I discovered my usual train had been cancelled. The only minor inconvenience is having to walk across (or in my case run) the walkway to platform four.
I got to a seat opposite a Sikh gentleman wearing a bright orange hi-vis jacket. Possibly a Network Rail worker, completing the upgrade to Reading Station. He was tired and fell asleep a few times with his head down onto the table infront of him. He woke up to ask me to wake him at Reading, when we stopped at Maidenhead. I forget to mention that this train was the local stopping service to Oxford, but even though it left a few minutes earlier than my usual train, it arrived a few minutes later, as my usual train service is direct! I followed his request and promptly awoke him just as we were going past the TVP buildings into Reading station. However, just prior to this, I realised I had left my train pass at home. It had fallen out of my jacket into my gym bag last night. Great! I would now need to buy a return to Slough. However, not the end of the world but not a great start to my Friday after already having my usual train cancelled. I went up to the barrier, seeing a familiar face whom always lets me through the barrier. Another long story which perhaps does not even need to be blogged but since taking up my company discounted train pass, my train ticket does not work in the electronic barriers. The price you pay for getting a discount on your season ticket, is the inconvenience of having to queue up and show your pass to the station master (how Victorian!). My Friday instantly got better, as I explained I had forgotten my pass, the old chap, just let me through, no questions asked. Could my day get any better? Unbelievably it would!
I text Michelle once I was in the office to get confirmation that my train pass was indeed in my gym bag and once we she had responded via e-mail, I felt much better. I tried to blag a lift from Slough based colleagues but they were not leaving until 5:30pm, over an hour later than I intended to leave. Sure enough, I would have to bite the bullet and buy a single to Slough for the handsome sum of eight pounds Sterling. The main thing was I had just misplaced and found my pass, I did not really want to have to request a new pass from the travel team and effectively pay again for three weeks of commuting.
Good news can arrive at any point in the day, for me it arrived at 4pm when my manager asked, “How long until you leave for the week, Andrew?” “About twenty five minutes…” was my reply!