So, here it is, Mark Thomas and one of his McDemo colleagues hating First Great Western on our behalf. They certainly don't look very happy, but that might be because they had a total of 181 demos to do that day, and I think this was the first.
Still no cheque from First Great Western, but this may be partly due to the postal system collapsing around our ears.
The Insider has posted a very interesting explanation of the madness and complications of the fare system, so if this is your particular beef, go and visit him here. I tried to read it all, but began to lose the will to live about half way down, I'm so glad I'm not the one trying to sell the tickets, the system's a mess!
I'm beginning to feel a bit like a message board, so let me tell you a story instead.
I'm on a late shift again. Last time I worked a late shift on a Friday, there was a drunken businessman being sick next to the departure boards. Let's call him Mike. He wasn't in a good way, and a kind young drunken man was trying to help him get home. Let's call him Jim. Then a much less kind drunk person decided that Jim was patronising Mike, and tried to have a fight with Jim. So far, so typical of Friday nights on Paddington Station.
But then, amazingly, everyone joined in to look after Mike. Once he was on the train, the whole carriage decided he was their pet project for the way home. Despite the fact that he kept disappearing under the luggage rack to be sick, everyone was very nice to him, and made sure he got onto the platform safely at Reading. I'm afraid to say I don't know what happened to him after that, as I didn't really fancy taking him home in my car, what with him being sick everywhere every five minutes and all. The most intriguing thing about Mike was that he was carrying two umbrellas. Jim was very concerned that either he'd stolen the second umbrella, or, more worryingly, that it belonged to another extremely drunk businessman who he'd lost somewhere along the way.
There are two things I took away from that journey. The first is that drunken people aren't always annoying and stupid, though they usually are. That trip was fun, everyone was in a good mood, and the atmosphere was great.
The second is that I thank FGW from the bottom of my heart for the off-peak first class upgrade that will allow me to escape the worst of the pantomime tonight, as it's not usually anywhere near as fun as that.