You know those days where you run around getting ready for work and you get to the door and realise you’ve left your keys on the kitchen table? So you run back for them and as you reach the door again you glance down and twig that you’ve forgotten to put your shoes on? And then once you’ve finally managed to get properly attired and have all your belongings assembled and have cleverly ignored the ringing phone, you open the door and there’s the postman wanting a signature for this rather large parcel that he’ll just go and get out of his van? I had one of those days today.
I was sitting in a depot waiting to leave. I’d got there a little early and for some reason the Depot-Voice was taking a while to let me out. I sat and twiddled my thumbs for a while and then found inspiration. Earlier in the day, poggs had asked what the passenger emergency alarm sounds like from the cab. So I amused myself by phoning him and setting it off. I’m sure his hearing will recover eventually.
After a bit I got bored again and poked the radio. Unfortunately I poked the button for the proper Voices so had to do it again to get the Depot-Voice. He explained that he’d had a problem setting the points for my road out but that things were ok now and sent me off on my merry way.
When we get our trains to the end of the depot road we hit a button to tell the signaller that we are ready to go onto the line. He is then beset with flashing lights, ringing bells and electric shocks which prompt him to release the signal to let us out. These then stop and he can go back to his paper. In one of those strange moments of timing my radio chirruped into life at the exact moment I hit the button. It was quite uncanny. When I answered it turned out to be The Voices who were responding in a rather leisurely fashion to my accidental poke from earlier. I explained I hadn’t really wanted to talk to them and they didn’t seem too put out. It’s probably better to have a driver call up and say ‘I don’t want to say anything to you’ than to have one call up and say ‘Oh hai! My train is broken, I’ve run someone over and the signal has failed’.
Once I’d finished the call I heard a phone ringing. I looked at the driver who was parked on the road next to me and we both glanced at the phones attached to our respective signals. A brief argument over whose it was resulted in me getting out of the cab and carefully crossing over the live rails. Crossing over the live rails is easy if you have long legs. I do not have long legs. I take care.
Once I’d crossed over safely the phone stopped ringing. Grrrr. Since I was there I decided I may as well call the signaller back to find out what he had wanted. He was grumpy. ‘Are you leaving now?’
‘Yes, as soon as people stop phoning me’
I stomped back to my train and he presumably flicked his paper in irritation.
The rest of the day was quite nice. I and another driver worked out how to kill a number of our more senior colleagues. I had fun plotting and nearly got to eat a spare pie though was thwarted at the last minute, and one of The Voices was polite to me for no reason whatsoever which is always a nice thing to happen. Initially he gave me a bit of a start and I wondered whether I was going to prison but it turned out to be nothing. He’s new and doesn’t know when he’s supposed to be polite yet. Happy days. 🙂