Faster, Better, Cheaper

Mental note to self: you can’t get into the office with your oyster card. You can’t get onto the train with your staff pass. And you can’t get into the house with either of them…

Something else to note: you can’t buy a return ticket to Kew Bridge anything like as fast as you can renew a season ticket on your oyster. I hate to say this, but for a change the advertising is true. Once you have used the quick ticket machines to top up your oyster, it’s very hard to go back to buying a ticket any other way. The quick ticket machines take about four seconds, of which three are me trying to get my switch card into the slot the wrong way, and one me remembering to touch my oyster to the pad at the end of the transaction. It doesn’t even beep – it’s a stealth ticket machine.

This morning, unfortunately, I had to get an ordinary ticket because we’re going away for a few days next week and it wasn’t worth getting a seven-day travelcard. As the ticket machines at the SWT half of Vauxhall station are firmly 20th Century technology, (cash only, no button for Kew Bridge – one day I will get my revenge on everybody by buying a return to Weymouth from it using the contents of my penny jar) that meant queuing up behind a gaggle of French tourists who were planning a complicated transaction that involved phoning a friend and no doubt would have also included ask the audience and fifty/fifty were it not for the fact that a low growling sound alerted them to their imminent danger of having their arms ripped off and the soggy ends stuffed into their purple rucksacks and they very kindly let me go in front of them. Even so, it was agonising to watch the slow process of getting a ticket issued the old fashioned way. Some bits of new technology actually are worth upgrading to.

So, the sooner the train companies join the Oyster bandwagon, the happier I will be, but I don’t suppose it will be any time soon. By which time it probably will get me into my office & my own front door to boot …


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