Thursday, September 19, 2002
3 things I hate about... Travelcards
1) Buying them: My annual London Travelcard expires in three hours time. I went to my local tube station last week to try to renew it. "Oh no", they said, "you can't do that yet. Come back nearer the time." I returned at 10pm on Sunday evening when, after much protest, the staff finally agreed they were perhaps willing take £912 off me if I really insisted. It was clear that the man behind the counter had never used a computer before, as he attempted to work out what all the buttons were for and where on earth the letter 'E' was. Next year maybe I should buy my ticket at 8:00 on a Monday morning instead, just to see how long I can get the queue of irate passengers behind me.
2) Other people buying them: Don't you hate in when you're stuck waiting in the queue at the ticket office on a Monday morning, with some urgent travelling to do, and some idiot in front of you has decided to buy their annual travelcard by debit card, and the monkey behind the counter can't get the computer to work?
3) Other people selling them: It's become one of the most modern but most undesirable forms of begging in London. Shuffling grubby reprobates gather round the exits to tube stations during the early evening, asking if they can relieve you of your used Travelcard. Not mine mate, it cost me £912. There again, maybe tonight I should have flogged it. I have three hours left to find a buyer...
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