[On the way back from a conference in the UK in September 1012]
“The onboard shop is now open for hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, and sex.” Either my hearing is going, or Virgin Trains is really going all out to provide a comprehensive service to travellers before handing over its franchise to First West Coast.
In fact, it’s not just my hearing that’s deteriorating, but my tolerance threshold. The hotel I just left, though further from the conference than I’d expected, was fine: clean linen, good breakfast, excellent shower, and the TV had more than four channels. What more can you ask?
But why must cheerful, friendly young members of staff insist on saying “No problem” when they take my order? If I’d thought it was going to be a problem to order something from the menu, I’d have ordered something else. While resolving never to stay at Fawlty Towers again.
So now I feel obscurely and irrationally guilty at have made them waste time on serving me when they could have been in the corner working on their first novel, or their patter for “Britain’s got talent”, or working up courage to ask the receptionist out for a drink. Not to mention the resentment I feel at seeing myself turn into the sort of curmudgeon I laughed at when I was their age.
Small Blue-Green World
ESET Senior Research Fellow