Over the last seven months, I’ve needed to travel within the UK a fair bit for work. Travel is exhausting, really it is, and in particular the homeward-bound journeys – where tiredness reigns and tolerance is low – can be greatly enhanced or deteriorated by the quality of personal interactions.
In probably 90% of trips, I find the personal interactions wonderful and I massively appreciate the friendliness of service workers… whether they be the people who help with booking tickets and hotels, those who are actually on the platform giving advice and direction to travellers ridiculously lost (as I often am!), those on the trains who check tickets and wait patiently as I find my supposedly faster digital tickets, those who are serving food and stuff in shops, cafes, and restaurants… or on Virgin trains Carriage C, where so often I find lovely smiley folk who cannot believe I’m paying that much for a double espresso (it’s that you only have large cups, makes it seem pathetically small!) and so give me something more like a quadruple for free… I love you.
You folk make my journeys. You revitalise a weary person and you make me smile. The difference between a service worker who smiles and connects – no matter how tired we all are – and someone who is surly, fed-up, and cannot make the effort… it’s immense. I want to give a huge shout out to those who do the former: who put on a smile on even though they may also be tired, those who genuinely connect, who go the extra mile over and over and over and possibly think it’s not recognised… it is recognised. I see you. You make my day. Thank you so very much.