A day in the life of customer service

12 degrees, a sharp wind and torrential rain. At the station 20 well wrapped up elderly people are off for an excursion to the city. They seem to have picked up an escort of four police officers and 3 ticket inspectors. It’s probably a coincidence that they are all traveling together. Melbourne hardly has the level of crime that requires the elderly to be so guarded. Although… could they be guarding us from the delinquency of the old folks??? Al a the Goodies and Monty Python.

As the rain comes down in sheets a group of damp Singaporeans draggle into the station, just missing a train. I feel so sorry for these tropical folk. Its 12 degrees. They’ve come down to Melbourne to see snow, but the snowfields aren’t open yet. The Kangaroos and Koalas in the zoo are all hiding from the cold.
Then a dear little toddler arrives in the waiting room and everyone enjoys cooing over him and trying to warm up his little hands. He takes the attention with bemused calm. Grampa is relieved to have a break. He’s very damp and cold whereas his grandson is wearing a very impressive snow suit.

Chatting to one of my regulars we are joined by a nice smiling but slightly odd man. Somehow we get chatting about the meaning of the word sartorial. Which is how we find out this pleasant man has had a brain injury and has trouble remembering the meanings of words. He tells us all about it, how he was dead for several minutes and how they had to rebuild his skull. Apparently he was a very high functioning aeronautical engineer before it all. Now he gets lost trying to come to the Zoo by train, he tells us happily. “Once they saw my brain scans they said I’d never work again. Look” and he show me the brain scan on his mobile phone. “Look at all that black” he says.
The fact that he’s so happy makes the experience of looking at a stranger’s brain scans much less disturbing than it might otherwise be.




1 thought on “A day in the life of customer service”

  1. You inspired me to look up sartorial in my Oxford Concise. And reminded me how rewarding it can be to chat with an odd but pleasant stranger. (We don’t get much opportunity to talk with strangers here in DK)

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