Dear Mark and Sue
Re: 08.06 FGW service from Oxford to Paddington, 25/8/11. Amount of my day wasted: 5 minutes.
Wotcha Mark! What's new, Sue? How's life treating you both today? Feeling a little more optimistic? A little more up for the daily fight? Good! That's the spirit! Don't let it grind you down, Mark. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off and come back out swinging, Sue! We can win this, lads!
I'm in a better mood too, you'll be glad to hear. The end of the week does that to me: it perks me up. It puts a spring in my step, a zip in my stride. It puts lead in my pencil. Especially so knowing next week will mean two less journeys on one of your trains, two less displays of expensive incompetence to deal with.
What will I do with my day off? How will I spend that time saved? I can do anything, Mark! The sky's the limit. Literally. Metaphorically.
And today's letter is shorter too. That's a relief all round, isn't it? Only a five minute delay on yesterday's journey in. Well done! After three days of 15-minute-plus screw-ups, you've managed to get within 300 seconds of running a service on time! Go Team FGW!
One thing does concern me, however. It's your silence. The sound of your silence. Mark - are you still on holiday? Are you still cosied up on some Costa, or promenading through some piazzo, or gallivanting across some Greek island? Lucky you!
But Sue... Sue, you're supposed to be on duty here. You're holding the baton. And Sue, you're being awfully quiet. I haven't heard from you for three letters now. I'm getting worried.
Wherefore art thou, Sue? Wither goest thou, Sue, in thy shiny train in the night? Please don't tell me you've forgotten how to communicate effectively? Please let it not be that you've lost your communicating mojo? Say it ain't so that you've caught the communicating yips! Good heavens above, it barely bears thinking about!
I'm missing you, Sue! And especially after your assurances that my letters were welcome, too. Especially after you said you were happy to address my understandable concerns. Don't let me carry on shouting into the abyss, Sue! Because you know what happens when you shout into the abyss, don't you?
That's right. The abyss shouts right back at you.* And goodness knows none of us want that!
*Friedrich Nietzsche said that, Sue. Best defensive midfielder Bayern Munich ever signed, for my money.