I lost my shit on Saturday at the Gautrain station.
And not your average ‘I want to see the manager’ lost your shit.
I went proper mental. Badshit, yelling, screaming and swearing crazy. Not my proudest moment. Clearly.
But imagine being on your way somewhere, and you realize you are going to be late. So you call ahead, and apologize and tell the person you are ‘running a few minutes late’. I think for most people, ‘a few minutes’ constitutes somewhere in the region of 8-10 minutes later.
Right – so I get off the train, swipe my bank card to get out (how innovative is our country?!? No more adding credit to a card that ’expires’ (don’t even get me started on that), after three weeks, No No – just tap your touchless bank card et voila! You can get to where you want via the Gautrain. And the best part – you can tap your bank card at the parking booms as well – so well done SA, Gautengers lives definitely made easier.
Or so you think…
So all ready running late, I jog to my car, and head for the boom… feeling rather anxious as I am at this stage definitely going to miss my 10 minute limit on arriving late. Dig out the same card I used to enter – please remember this same card allowed me access earlier this morning, and wouldn’t you know it, what does the boom gate display say? Blocked card. BLOCKED CARD!!! Blocked?? Blocked how, you let me in not 3 hours ago so let me the fuck out you stupid boom gate. So after tapping that card so many times that Michael Flatly would have felt put to shame, the guard comes sauntering towards me. Even before he says anything I start my story because remember, now my 10 minute late limit is so far gone not even Jesus can revive it, so my patience has not run out it has fucked off and is a mere glimmer on the horizon. Now for those of you who know me personally, you will know one of my most gravest pet pieves in life; Tardiness.
So I have just started telling my story to Mr Boom Gate Guard, when I am interrupted with a “Hallo”, and that blank stare, and then a “How are you”. (I left the question mark out after the ‘you’ on purpose…. nobody gives a fuck how anybody else is doing!
At this point I am ready to explode. I am punching the intercom button like a demented lunatic and all the while literally choking out the words “I am fine, how are you?” through gritted teeth. The lady at the other end of the intercom answers, and I retell my story hearing myself getting more and more worked up, but by the mere grace of God, I am not yet yelling. Until… until the lady at the other end of the intercom DISCONNECTS THE CALL!! Mr Boom Gate Guard is probably watching my face turn from annoyed white lady to full on crazy white bitch on the verge of totally losing all her shits.
The pressing of the intercom button commences and when she answers again, I lose all control as she repeatedly says “Hallo? Hallo?” So I scream… not yell, not talk louder, I scream into that intercom so loud I am sure the people on the train could hear me.
And then, the best is yet to come, she, very calmly, tells me, that I will have to return to the office as ‘they are experiencing slight difficulties with the parking section of using your credit card.” Now my friends, at this point, my soul has left my body and Satan has taken over and I was not in control of any of my actions. So Satan at this point screamed at the guard that he was about to ram his car through the boom gate if it didn’t open up immediately!
Satan swore Zuma, he swore Ramaphosa, He even swore Jan van Riebeeck and to my utter shame the poor innocent soul at the Boom Gate, also got it. That little Yaris of mine had no idea it could drive like a F1 race car as I sped back to the office to pay THE R15 parking fee. I shit you not… all of this, for a R15 parking fee.
I think I also ran faster than Caster Semenya that day but lo and behold eventually the parking was paid, and I legged it to my appointment, now a full on half an hour late.
So I understand this is a new initiative, and like I mentioned quite an innovative one, and glitches are to be expected and it may take a while to sort it out and run 100% smoothly. But where, where oh great Management of the Gautrain station, are the notices informing your commuters of the ‘slight issues you are experiencing’????
Anyway – I got to my appointment and luckily the therapist was so sweet and patient, and even made me a cappuccino as she probably noticed the crazy in my eyes…
So thank you Ricolene for saving my Saturday and giving me beautiful pedicured toes after my Boom Gate Ordeal.