Train 101


The last post ended with me at the counter in the dining car ordering orange juice. After the gentleman behind the counter told me he had nothing left except what I saw on the counter, I spotted a ginger ale and ordered it with a cup of tea. He filled my order and I presented my biz class ticket stub since the conductor had told me that ALL non-alcoholic beverages were complimentary to biz class customers after he saw an empty cup on my tray table. He asked if I had paid for it and I told him yes. He said I shouldn’t have. He then made the announcement over the PA system. Dude behind the counter copped a ‘tude when I showed him my tix stub and said I should have showed it to him first. He took back my cup of tea and poured its contents in a smaller cup. He told me I couldn’t have the ginger ale but gave me an option of Pepsi and some other cola stuff instead. I don’t drink colas. I told him I was told that ALL non-alcoholic beverages were complimentary and he said no and he wishes that someone would explain the rules to us. I couldn’t have a ginger ale because that product generated revenue, he said. What fucking ever, I thought to myself. How much is the damn ginger ale? (No, I didn’t curse but wanted to.) I turned New York on him so quick with an attitude of my own as a line of white people stood behind me hanging on my every word. He told me $2. I handed him two singles and left in a huff with my smaller cup of tea and paid-for ginger ale. No sooner do I get settled that the conductor comes and asks me and the lady sitting across the aisle if he can turn the heat down because women in the middle are hot. Eff them! I am sitting near the door, which opens off and on. I am fighting a cold and it is well below freezing. No, you cannot turn the heat down. I have on three layers on top and two on bottom and Uggs. I am comfortable. The white lady across from me has a blanket around her legs as she does something on her computer. I am sure the women in the middle are having hot flashes. I can’t be sympathetic. I asked the conductor if they had layers they could remove because I don’t want the heat off. The white lady was in agreement with me but let me do all the talking, which was fine with me. No one will ever say they didn’t know what I was thinking because I make it clear. I still wonder how much money Amtrak is saving by pouring small cups of tea to its biz class customers. We are pulling out of Aberdeen.

UPDATE:  I heard conductor telling a passenger who got on at BWI about all non-alcoholic beverages being free. I informed him of the above scenario and he explained that dining car dude had to buy the large cups used for tea but not the small ones. That’s why he gave me a small one.


1 Comment

Filed under Inauguration

One response to “Train 101

  1. As an avid train traveler (when I’m in countries that have actual RAIL SYSTEMS), I’m hopeful that the Obama-Biden Administration will invest the necessary cash and resources to turn Amtrak around so that folks don’t have the kind of crazy experiences Kelly had on Saturday. Maybe someday we Americans will get the chance to rediscover the wonder and magic of train travel without going through drama to get from Point A to B.

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