Earlier this year I went straight from a meeting in London to an overnight work gig in Birmingham. It was all a bit surreal (involving Alan Bryman and Angry Birds impressions). The following lunchtime after an intense focus group workshoppy thing, I rushed off to catch the train back home. In the short walk from the hotel to Birmingham New Street, I thought I was in Manchester. That really threw me when I got into the station and couldn’t find the ticket machines, and the trains/platforms had all disappeared.
Luckily, the penny dropped, I got my bearings, grabbed a ticket from the machine and boarded the train. Twenty minutes into the journey, the ticket inspector made his way along the packed carriage. When he got to my ticket, he said “You’d better make your way to the first class carriage, lady”. “Wow!” Really? Me? That is so cool”, I gabbled, thinking what a great new train policy – randomly upgrading people during the journey. “Well, you’re the one with the first class ticket”, he answered.