“that ticket is for tomorrow, Sir”

It’s often with faint trepidation that I pass over a travel ticket for inspection.  And when I don’t, when I’m relaxed and confident that I’ve done it right: that’s when I get busted.

On numerous occasions I’ve screwed up, smugly relieving a self service machine of my pre-booked ticket, only to inspect it and find the date printed on the ticket is yesterday’s.  Once I made it late to an airport, roughly thirty seconds after the forty-five minute rule had been ruthlessly and officiously imposed by a young steward I wanted to smack.  I lost a four-day holiday, complete with hotel and return flights.  Which was quite annoying. 

Today I offered my mobile phone, together with ticket details, to a coach driver’s oafish young assistant.  He meticulously studied the words and code in the text message for a good thirty seconds before saying, “nope.”  I took it back, but today’s the…  

FUCKit..  Again..  This ticket was for tomorrow. 

He didn’t appear an especially charitable sort of fellow.  And his Captain Birdseye superior driver was equally dismissive when he returned.  “No, bus is full anyway.”  It didn’t look full but I didn’t complain.  It arrogantly rolled away, out of the station.

I always feel hindered in such contests by not being female and cute, in which case I feel – whether rightly or wrongly – that my chances of being treated with some lenience would be drastically improved if I didn’t look like I do.  If I were somehow more winning.

I went to a coffee shop and booked an online ticket for the next one, paying another twenty quid for the pleasure.  

Few other people share these instances of making such errors, possibly because when it comes down to it, it is your own personal error.  You are a retard for not being able to plan, differentiate numbers or double check dates.  There isn’t really anyone else to blame but yourself.

I’m fairly confident with travel tickets day-to-day.  It’s those journeys which require pre-booking: coaches, trains, planes.  Then, however hard I try to programme my brain with the appropriate date and time details, a slipped key or a one day longer idea just goes amiss somewhere.  A neuron fails to fire and I’m fucked.  I slink horribly, withdraw, swear at myself while never quite appreciating the conscientiousness of the person who tells me, effectively, that I’m an idiot. 

And even when I know I’m right, I have it sussed, then I can’t shake the paranoia that I have forgotten something, misread it, there might not be enough time. 

I’m never completely satisfied until I’m in my seat.  Unless I then suddenly find I’m on the wrong vehicle and my innate idiocy is confirmed once again.

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