Dear Mark and Sue
Re: 21.21 FGW service from Paddington to Oxford, 5/7/11. Amount of my day wasted: 9 minutes.
Two delays in two days guys! That spreadsheet we were talking about must make for bleak viewing. Does it depress you, Mark? Do you read it and weep, Sue?
So here we are again. Another medium-sized message. Another average-length email. Whatever shall we discuss today?
First of all, I'd like to express my thanks, Mark, for your latest reply. It seems First Great Western certainly does have the most rotten luck! A failed train at Didcot, you say? Imagine that! A perfectly good train just failing for no reason all by itself!
I mean, if trains were failing because you hadn't invested in them properly, if they were failing because they were old, or knackered, or needed repairs, upgrades, servicings or even replacing... that I could understand. In that case the solution would be simple, wouldn't it? All we'd have to do was invest in our business properly (even if it meant denting the profit margins) and the job, as we used to say in Manchester, would be a good 'un. No more failing!
But if they're just failing all by themselves, for no discernible reason... why that's just spooky bad luck! Maybe you're cursed, Mark! And what could any of us do if occult powers are the reason behind FGW's shoddy service?
I'm assuming the train wasn't old or knackered or needed servicing or replacing or anything - because then that would mean you weren't doing your job properly, wouldn't it Mark? I'm assuming that the only rational explanation for your trains failing is the wholly irrational one of diabolical intervention by some malevolent higher power.
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this, Mark. And whether you think it might be prudent to get a priest in. Or a witchdoctor. Or Dumbledore, Gandalf, Aslan, Merlin. Anyone who could lift that curse. Even if it must be a mythical sorcerer. Needs must and all that. Every option must be explored!
Oh, before I forget. One other thing about your email made me laugh out loud when I read it on the train home. (You should have seen the looks I got! People tend not to laugh too much on your trains: perhaps it's another manifestation of that curse? Or perhaps it's just that paying the best part of 500 quid a month to be treated with such flippant contempt every morning and evening by your company tends to put a downer on people's moods?)
I laughed because I couldn't help but notice that at the bottom of your email there was a paragraph pointing out that the contents were meant for my eyes only and were not to be shared with anyone. Like on a blog, for instance.
Is that right, Mark? Are you forbidding me from publishing your replies? Can you even do that? And was that your idea Sue? (Where are you, Sue? I miss you! And sadly I'm once again beginning to doubt your actual, you know, communication skills...)
Because if you are forbidding me from reproducing your correspondence on my blog, I'd like to know why. I think the readers might feel you have something to hide, Mark. Or that you're ashamed. Do you? Are you?
Oh gosh. Look at the time! Have I ran over my allotted nine minutes? So sorry! I hate it when that happens! Let's blame it on a failed, er, I dunno, typing hand, shall we? Maybe it's cursed! Dumbledore! We need you, big guy!