Ran into St Pancras, hit the barriers out of breath. Asked the staff if I was too late, ‘just missed it’, they’d said. 30 seconds. Bastards.
Nearly £100 for a new ticket. I don’t have £100 to spare. To be frank I don’t have £2 to spare, although that doesn’t stop me spending £2 on the gym vending machines every time I visit (protein bars! Why sit on a yoga mat when you could eat one!). I don’t have £2 to spare because I don’t have an income and when I finally do have an income (I’m told the day is incoming) it’ll be just shy of £80 per week and dear reader that is not enough to allow one to fritter away £100 on a missed train. It’s not even enough to allow for a £2 flat white in Pret whilst waiting.
I could have argued it. I could have pressed my case that the tube engineering works had run on longer than scheduled (they had), meaning several lines were closed (they are), so London’s Monday morning transport network was even more hellish than it normally is (let’s just pretend that that’s possible), resulting in the Uber having an especially traumatic weave through North London and so really, now really can you blame me for being 30 seconds late? 30 seconds.
I could have argued it. These are all unforeseen circumstances and furthermore they’re unforeseen circumstances on the urban transit system; I always feel train operators should take at least a little bit of vicarious responsibility for these. I could have argued it but I didn’t, because even tho I have no income right now and am using my credit card to buy food, I’m especially skilled at the fine British art of not wanting to make a fuss. It puts such a sour mood on things. It makes things stressful. Awkward. I’m willing to spend a lot of money to avoid awkwardness, even when I don’t have any money to spend.
I know this is how I’m expected to behave. Whole companies operate on the principle that it’s easier to just keep paying for the service you signed up to while it was on offer, who make cancelling a labyrinthian quest of call centres and multi-level resubscription options (I’m looking at you, Graze). Bipolar screws with finances but it’s my social anxiety of having to apologise to companies that ‘really, no, I’d rather not give you my money any more’ which really lays the long fuse.
So here I am. Brand new bit of cardboard which will allow me to speed home. I’m £100 lighter, and I’m already so light that in financial terms I’m practically antigravitational. All for the sake of not wanting to stand at the ticket barriers, out of breath and sweaty and flustered, explaining to staff that I’m definitely entitled to a refund.
Anyway I’m exhausted after Saturday’s hen night, and only getting back to the hotel at 8pm Sunday. My clothes are scrunched my hair is crunched and I’m increasingly convinced I left some of my more exciting pants at the hotel. I don’t have the energy to complain about the unforeseen circumstances on the transit system, and explain how none of this could possibly be any of my fault.