Thursday, April 13, 2006

Black Friday

I'll never forget the 24th of March. I was going to Málaga with my husband but we missed the train. We arrived at the station at 8:08, two minutes before the departure of the train when the train was still on the platform, but the stewardess didn't allow us to go through the passenger's gate because it was closed and the supervisor was on the platform.

The supervisor didn't have a mobile phone nor another communication gadget and the stewardess made gestures with her arms to get the supervisor's attention. it was a pathetic scene at a high technology station like Atocha-Ave. The supervisor didn't look at the stewardess and the train left the station, leaving us stranded.

We went to the Ave customers services office to make a claim. My husband was angry and he wanted to know the stewardess name, but she hid in the office. The person in charge asked us for the reasons of our claim. My husband didn't give her any reason and he asked her for the claim form.

The person in charge wasn't kind and she called the station's security guards and when they arrived, they asked us about the reasons for the claim again. My husband gave the same explanation as before. We called the police and they told us that we had to go to the station master office.

We went downstairs and asked a security guard for the station master office. He didn't know where it was (incredible incompetence) and he spoke via walkie talkie and said “the couple is here and are asking for the station master”.

Immediately another security guard came and he told us where it was, but he followed us as if we were delinquents. The station master wasn't in the office at that moment and we went to another Ave customers services office that was opposite.

When we went in, Jaime Ostos , a famous bullfighter from Ecija (1), was here. He had a problem and I tried to listen the conversation(2). He usually travels to Seville by train and he uses the Ave customers services office for personal business. On this occasion he was picking up his car keys that a friend had left in the office for him. He was wearing a narrow dark blue blazer but he wasn't thin enough for it. ¡Time passes even for the bullfighters!.

In this Ave customers services office, they allowed us to make a claim. My husband wrote (he writes slowly, like everything he does) while I made some telephone calls. Some people came in the office but I didn't look at them because they weren't famous (terrible mistake).

Finally, my husband wrote two pages (it took a long time) and we asked about how to change the train tickets. At that moment I wasn't angry although I missed the train. I thought the evening was funny, the pathetic stewardess made gestures with her arms to the supervisor, the security guards followed us as if we were criminals and we met Jaime Ostos. But the tempest was near, when we went to get the baggage my laptop case was missed.

But that is another story……..


(1) Ecija is a town near Seville. It is called “Andalucía's frying pan” because in the Summer it's very hot, about 50 degrees

(2) I'm a gossipy woman, of course

Tuesday, April 04, 2006