I've been on the train up and down to London for a couple of days, which has been an interesting dry run for the new job.
Getting to the station on time is now mastered, barring accidents.*
I have bought an annual parking tickets (320 quid! gah!) for the station so I don't need to fret about finding the correct change each time.
I have picked up an application form for a season ticket so I can take advantage of the fantastic savings on offer** by buying in advance.
I walked from the office in Whitehall to the new office in Victoria after my meeting to see how long it takes*** and managed to find the place without a map. Yay me.
So, all begins to take shape.
I met my new boss and some of the new team. I feel OLD. They all look about 19, and are frighteningly keen. I honestly think I will be the oldest person in that office. Gah. GAH.
I had an hour with the new boss, who seems to have a brain the size of a planet, was given reams of scarily detailed complex paperwork to read next week, and then went to Wagamama's to have a team lunch.
Which was nice.
They all asked "So why did you apply for this job, exactly?" I can't decide if that's good or not.
After lunch, I started walking back to Waterloo from Victoria, but, having no map and no sense of direction, ended up outside the back of Buckingham Palace, whereupon I hailed a black cab and took the coward's way out back to the station. It was raining quite hard, in my defence, and I was carrying a heavy carrier bag full of aforesaid scary paperwork.
I was amused to see several smartly-dressed and otherwise sensible business types on the train devouring huge amounts of chocolate. One chap had four (yes FOUR) bars of Marks and Spencer milk chocolate which he ate one after the other at great speed. I bet he gets home and tells his wife he's starving and hasn't eaten since 10am.
Another chap sat quietly doing the Sudoku and demolishing a family-size bar of Dairy Milk all on his own. Git. He never offered me any. I'd have refused, obviously, but it would have been polite to ask.
Bloody South West Trains! Yesterday I had a ticket for the 1520 train, with a reserved seat. As it happened, my meeting finished earlier than expected so I was able to get on the previous train, half an hour earlier. Excellent, I thought.
The ticket bloke came round and I showed him my ticket. He glared at me and asked to see the reservation ticket thingy too. I showed him that.
Ticket bloke: "You're on the wrong train."
Me (cheerfully): "No, this one is going to the right station."
Ticket bloke (increasingly grumpy): "No. It's the wrong train. This ticket is not valid."
Me (still cheerful): "Oh. So, do I have to get off the train then?"
Ticket bloke: "You need to buy another ticket."
Me (astounded): "Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? Are you serious? I already have a ticket, look!"
Ticket bloke (by now expecting trouble, and aware of the audience of commuters all pretending they're not listening): "You need to buy another ticket. That'll be £67."
Me (muttering): "Bloody hell...."
So. South West Trains got an additional £67 out of me, despite the fact that my reserved seat on the next train was going to be empty, and therefore available for another traveller. It's not like they even put the reserved labels on the seats anyway.
Mr WithaY still hasn't sent them his letter of complaint, by the way. I have told him that there is an increasing need to know the outcome**** but he is being far too laid back.
Other news: Am officially winding down from my job. Apart from writing the final reports for my team, I am clearing the decks and passing stuff to everyone else. A remarkably nice feeling, I have to say.