Today, I went to Bishop Auckland for a job assessment. Because I have never been to Bishop on my own before (I used to watch the local team play with my dad), this was definitely going to be an adventure…albeit a rather mundane one. I would be venturing into new territory, which carries the risk of getting lost, and I’d be relying on unfamiliar buses to get me there.
That’s right; buses. Now, older followers to this blog will be aware of my relationship with buses. It is mostly a love-hate thing, as they love to rip me off, and I hate them for doing it. And if that wasn’t enough, when they aren’t ripping me off, the buses are breaking down, turning up late, or, uh, not bothering to show up at all.
But this time, things were going to be different. I was leaving way in advance of my appointment (I even went for a bus early, just in case), I knew what ticket to get, and I’d memorized the times for getting home. I was ready. For once, I was going to enjoy my journey; sit back, relax, and listen to my music. It was going to go perfectly.
So, the first bus came along and I got on it. No rush, no problem. I asked for my ticket (a Green + Turquoise day pass), handed over my money, grabbed the ticket and put it safely in my pocket. Job done.
Then at the Durham bus station, I got off to wait for my second bus. It arrived, I got on. I showed my ticket, and began looking for a seat…only to be stopped because my ticket wasn’t right. To my surprise, I only had the green zone, when I needed the Turquoise zone too in order to get to Bishop Auckland. Apparently, my first bus driver had neglected to include both zones in my fare.
…really? How did you manage that, Ms bus driver? It wasn’t a difficult task. You just had to listen for ten seconds. I’m sure you do it a thousand times a day. I know I didn’t mumble it. I was loud and clear. There was no reason to get it wrong.
And it’s not like turquoise is a word you can ignore either. I would have thought it would stand out the most in a sentence with ordinary words like ‘ticket’ and ‘pass’, but clearly her brain operates in a different way to mine. Maybe she just doesn’t understand words that have the letter q in them. Who knows?
Anyway, I explained the situation to Mr bus driver, and asked if he could just add a zone onto my ticket; each zone after the first usually costs around £1. No big deal, I thought, but apparently he can’t do that. I would have to pay full price. Instead of paying £6.10 (which is ridiculous enough already), I would have to pay £9.30.
So, I didn’t really enjoy the journey as planned. I accept it was probably my fault for assuming the driver was competent and not checking the ticket when I got it (as the bus was busy, my focus was finding somewhere to stand where I wasn’t in the way). But still, I think the driver should accept some responsibility. Again, I must ask how she could hear ‘green’ but not ‘turquoise?’. The ‘and’ I said between them should have also been a hint to the fact I wanted more than just one zone.
How did I do at the assessment, you say? Oh, it was fine; I didn’t get lost, and I was on time. Nothing much happened however; I signed some forms and that was about it. In and out in thirty minutes (and twenty of those minutes I was just waiting to be seen). As I had paid so much for my ticket, and spent over two hours getting there and back, it was a bit disappointing to only be there for that long, but hey ho. If it leads to something, it will be worth it.
Moral of the story? Assume everyone around you is an idiot.
Or learn how to drive a car when you have the money to afford it. Whatever.
Speak to you later,