I'm not sure if anyone knows this about me but I do enjoy a nice bout of complaining. I try to save it for times I think are worthwhile but who am I to judge?
On the train that carries me each day to and from work, the conductors are required to call out the few stops there are over the public address system and make safety announcements. Their job has to be a monotonous one as they sit alone at the end of one of the cars facing the passengers and go through the same routine day in, day out.
For about a year, my route has had the same conductor. Rather than just call out the stops, he harnesses the power of the p.a. system and prattles on about the weather, calls out to people as they get on and leave and lets young children talk on it (cute once, not so cute every ride). When there's a service delay, he tells everyone to email the company and provides the address so people can complain. Sometimes he makes jokes but more often just funny noises.
He ends each 'set' with a very bad Elvis homage - Thank ya, thank ya very much. There's nothing like seeing a whole trainload of people rolling their eyes in unison to make you feel like you're really a part of something.
A few weeks ago, before I went to work, there was an announcement on the news that a murder investigation was underway on a pedestrian walkway near one of the stations we usually stop at. A young man had been knifed to death. The first morning train was cancelled as there was a concern that it might disrupt the crime scene. The train I take was allowed through but not to stop.
Sensing an opportunity to expand his repertoire and being a man who understands emergency preparedness, the conductor began playing the Pink Panther theme music over the p.a. as we approached the murder scene. He snickered over the airwaves that we should all be on the look out for Inspector Clouseau and then made a few more jokes. At the end of the ride he played the music again and thanked us for riding the 'Disoriented Express' and gave us his best Elvis again. People were even less amused than usual.
When I got to work, I emailed the train company (at least I didn't have to look the address up) and let them know that I didn't find it funny that while someone's father, son, or brother lay dead beside the tracks, everyone was subjected to this man's bad jokes about the situation. I suggested, because I'm also helpful, that someone let him know about open mic night at the comedy clubs. At least the audience there is expecting to be subjected to comedy. I also asked them to let him know that nobody enjoys his terrible Elvis impression either.
Two days later, there was noticeably less patter over the airwaves and when we arrived at the point where he'd usually hit us with Elvis, he very clearly enunciated Thank you very much and have a nice day. He's still doing it.
I was satisfied with this result until someone who sits in his car told a friend of mine that he was really pissed at whoever had complained about him. The source of his anger though was at the fact that this 'person' who'd complained had the nerve to say that he did a bad Elvis impression when obviously he does a very good one.
I shake my head but not my hips. Not for this anyway.
Prologue: Wrapped in a Wholesome Kind of Misery
18 hours ago