Just wishful thinking?

So yes, despite the best intentions of my ‘wonderful’ local train company to do otherwise, I started my training course for my new, temporary role yesterday morning. I’d planned to get the 8.21 train, and have plenty of time to walk up to the office before 9.00. So I got the 8.13, which turned up at 8.27, and just about got there by 9.00, planned start time. Unfortunately, it took 3 of us who arrived just in time, a while to get in, as no one had explained how we had to do it, given that we didnt have entry cards. But we got there in the end, so…

Last nights train, coming home was late too, I hadnt forgotten Trans Pennine Express could be awful, but 2 out of 2 late, not a good start. Still, the trains topped it this morning, though not all their fault, to be fair. Train was late (about 7 minutes) arriving in Huddersfield, which was definitely down to them. I had 10 minutes, or so allowance, so fine, if it left. It didnt! Got settled on the train, to hear there was a slight delay, due to a signalling issue. Given it was the first train of the morning through to Leeds, they might have just discovered it, but anyway…35 minutes later, we heard the train was cancelled, no trains would be running through to Leeds, and they would try to lay on replacement coaches. Seemingly, about an hour and a half later, they did! But this wasnt much use for training course, day 2, from 10.00 to 3.00. Even if a coach had come along straightaway, the best I could have reached the office was 11.15, and they didnt even get close to that!

I rang the office when I got back here, let them know that I hadnt just had enough (one did yesterday, disappearing after lunch break), but just couldnt get to Leeds. I’m not sure the guy really took in all I told him, but he said to turn up as planned, post training in the morning at 9.00, so I will do as told (as a good robot should lol), and see what happens. Might just get trained in what was learnt today, might just grab their card back, and tell me to go, even if it wasnt my fault!

Of course, the irony then, I might yet get to be a long term clinical research guinea pig, which lets face it, I’d rather do anyway! Be ironic, if after all my frustration this morning with the train, that I got to do what I really wanted to do, wouldnt it? But yes, you know me, and luck, that would just be wishful thinking!

And yes, thats tonights video, would you believe?

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How not to get to work, in one easy lesson!

Honestly, if I never travel with Trans Pennine Express again, after 3 weeks time, it will still be too soon. Though to be fair to them, it would be right to say that today they were only 50% to blame, the other half falling firmly on the shoulders of National Rail.

But, if TPE had been honest on the situation a little earlier, instead of 30 minutes after the train was due, I might have been able to rescue matters. Of course, if I had, you wouldnt be getting this bonus blog rant, so…

So, the story of my morning was as follows…

I left here at 8.30 this morning, to walk across (just under 10 minutes) to where I have to get the bus, when I make an early start on a Sunday morning, as the first bus from the estate is 9.08. As it happens, I could have got the 9.38, but more on that shortly.

The train was due at 9.18. At 9.12, it was showing as on time, quite a rare sight with TPE. But then, it started showing as later, and later, until…at 9.42 an announcement was made. Seemingly, there was a ‘slight’ over run on the engineering works between Manchester and Huddersfield, and to quote the announcer, they had no idea when a train might turn up, but they would let us know later, if, and when one would.

So, I did a rapid dash to a nearby Hills shop, rang work to let them know I wasnt going to be in by 10.00, funnily enough. I went back to the station, nothing had changed. So I gave up the fight, got a bus home, and gave up on the day, and a days wages. I might, even then have got to work very late, with a lift, but blamelessly (not knowing what a joke TPE was today) Nicole had made other plans, so that was that!

I know, I cant blame TPE for over running engineering works, and I dont. But what I can blame them for, is the lack of useful information. All they were doing on the departure board, was every minute, adding another minute to the expected arrival time. In the end, seemingly, the train arrived 61 minutes late! I expect it was ‘slightly crowded’ by then, rolls eyes!

So, TPE, please, just let us passengers, who you rip off so regularly know whats really happening with their trains.

No, given their utter incompetence, its not going to happen!

Yes, the video is dedicated to what I was doing today, waiting for the train that never came!

One thing I wont miss about redundancy

Well, I guess that comment isnt strictly true, I’ll miss the monthly wage (until I find something new), and I’ll miss some people at work too. But equally, I wont miss the crazy early starts, the very late finishes, and…Trans Pennine Express!

Yes, I know, I might have to go to work again in Leeds, but mentally, and physically, I’m hoping I can find something nearer to home. Might be easier said than done, but we will see. Fingers crossed, and if there are any Yorkshire folk reading this, who know of call centre, data input, or similar openings in the Huddersfield area, especially those that dont appear on the main websites, please let me know. Happily start on 27th April, in all honesty. Could start before, but I’m going to Hollywood on the 18th April, regardless, just saying. Temp work in the meanwhile for March/early April would be good too. Yes, I dont finish until the 28th, so nothing before then!

Of course, if any Hollywood studio wants to sign me up to play a member of the Harlow family in a movie…even better!

OK, personal ad over, lets start on the one thing I really wont miss if I dont have to commute to Leeds, Trans Pennine Express.

I’d love to say they are the worst train company in the world, and I might not even be exaggerating. Fine, somewhere in deepest Africa, there is probably one worst, but in the UK, no contest! Overcrowded trains, which are regularly delayed, sometimes by minutes, often by a lot more, and overpriced fares are just a few of their bad points. I’d love to name some good ones, but cant think of any!

So yes, if my new job means I no longer have to commute with this truly incompetent company, I will not miss them in the slightest! To be honest, the best thing related to them, is a wonderful Twitter site @ notTPE, which is dedicated to their incompetencies, in a funny, and delightful way. Unsurprisingly, the real TPE are not fans, as he tells the truth, unlike their Customer Service Dept. Fine, some of it isnt true, but its closer to the mark than the TPE version.

As I say, there may be some things I miss when I leave the job, but Trans Pennine Express wont be one of them.

The video, a train journey, in Norway, with the ideal Abba song

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Yes, right song, but not the artist you’re probably expecting! 😛

So fine, what can I say about the 2 days of Christmas so far? Yesterday was a fine example of Trans Pennine Express at their worst, though with a surprising twist to events. To be fair, before I left home, I knew the 7.17 train was cancelled, just because they felt like it, season of no goodwill with them, and all that. But, if the bus had turned up on time here (it is a First bus, mind), I might have got the 6.56 train, and all would have been fine. No, it turned up 5 minutes late, and the rest was history. I actually got to work with about a minute to spare to log in, but certainly wasnt ready for calls at 8.00.

The day was fine, the odd busy patch, but then, towards the end, when there really wasnt anything to bet on, things did calm down slightly. Then, getting home for Christmas. Unlike Chris Rea, I wasnt driving, but relying on TPE to get me home. Shock horror, the trains were running late. But, in a body blow for TPE, the late running train (only 10 minutes late at Huddersfield) was just about in time for me to run, and catch the bus before the one I was expecting to get. So I got home early with them, there’s an irony!

And so to today. When everyone finally got here, (part of Nicole’s family, staying at a hotel in town), it was time to open presents. A eide collection of items, including curling tongs (to do those Harlow curls), slippers (needed, my current pair are more than on their last legs), and numerous other things too, including a lovely brooch.

Oh, a picture of me on the day, oh fine, there is one.

me, at Christmas

Definitely a fine cleavage there lol!

You can guess the rest, a very good Christmas dinner, a quiet (of sorts) period since then recovering from over eating. And then…back to work tomorrow! Taxi to and from work, so was considering being saucy, and wearing a dress, but given the possible weather forecast, maybe not, gone for a warmer option! Besides which, might be a bit contro when I go out to get lunch in Sainsbury’s! Mind, there might be a bit of turkey around here, for a sandwich tomorrow, so…lol.

The video, yes, the old Shakin’ Stevens song, but not his version. This is an artist who has been around for about 40 years, and still having a successful career. Oh, and he’s from Yorkshire too.

Hope you’ve all had a good day too.

The Sweetest thing?

As any regular reader will know, I commute to work, using a, err, wonderful train company called Trans Pennine Express. Yes, equally any regular will know, that comment is very tongue in cheek, they could drive a saint to tears much of the time.

Lets just say that their services punctuality leaves a lot to be desired (they put a message on the train speaker saying that if you see anything suspicious, to let them know. If I ever see one of their trains run on time, I’ll report it as suspcious) to put it mildly, the fares are among the highest in the country, and due to having insufficient carriages for need, tend to be overcrowded most of the day.

Ironic story of the last few days, at the beginning of 2013, our fares went up slightly more than normal, to pay for the extra rolling stock that they would be providing, so we didnt feel like sardines most of the time when travelling with them. This week, it was announced that they arent arriving, due to a falling out with the leasing company! But I dont think our fares will be going down now, somehow!…rolls eyes!

But no, this isnt going to be a one sided insult of said train company, I’m about to say something nice about them too!

So when you’ve picked yourself up off the floor…

It seems I’m not the only one celebrating a birthday this month (16th, if you care?), Trans Pennine Express are 10 this month. And those of us long suffering customers who get emails, and the like from them, got an offer. If you sent a request, and were amongst the first 10,000 to do so, you could get £10 off an advance fare. Now fine, for most commuters, its not what we need to buy, but…I’m going to Jersey in May, and have to get myself to Manchester Airport. So by booking now, I got the single fare, first class, for £5! Less than the standard class advance ticket would normally cost!

So fine, I’ve paid for it now, not in May, just before I go (when it probably would still have been £15 first class), but I’ve got a bargain, care of the train company that drives me crazy. So, just once in a while, they do the sweetest thing. Mind, that train will probably run late, but…

The video. Well, Bono has gained a bit of a reputation for being too forthright for his own good. This video, just the opposite, very tongue in cheek. A few cameos in it too, though whether many will spot them now?

And so, back in England…

Yes, as many already know, I made it safely back without any great problems. Both flights were a few minutes late, but that was all, nothing to drive me to frustration this time around, thank goodness.

And now, tomorrow, is back to work day, oh joy! Throwing in days off, a weeks holiday has worked out to nearly a fortnight away from there. Thankfully most of the jet lag is now sorted, though its certainly taken a while to get to that point. Blessing is, its a short day tomorrow, with an early afternoon start, so I should cope. The bad news, it means the rest of the week isnt so pretty lol! I’ll survive though, I’m sure.

The blessing is, the next flight to the US is already booked, so I can start counting down to that. I suspect that knowing Kate, I’m not going to get too many details about it before I land at Boston Airport somehow! And yes, I’m happy for her to do that, the only detail I will need beforehand being where I’m staying the first night, US immigration get fussy about such things! If she tells me its the robotisation chamber at MIT, well I might not believe her lol! :p

The jet lag has certainly hit me harder this time, I’m not quite sure why. Possibly because my routine was thrown out on the way across, and its never recovered, or maybe its just that I’m getting too old for trying to jump 8 time zones in one long haul? Not a problem I plan to worry about for a while at least, the next few will be nearly all 5, with one 6 thrown in for good measure, which might just be in Kansas lol! I certainly havent got on as much as I hoped on return.

I’m sure Trans Pennine Express have some delights lined up for me travel wise, having got used to the efficiency of the Seattle Light Rail. Still, I’m not sure even they can manage an 11 hour delay, though dont quote me on that!

The song, a tribute to Gerry Rafferty, though yes, its the ‘silver bird’ thing that made me select this song all the same. Given the weather over here, I may be home, but dry is another matter!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfTY02r-H00