A cute little girl tapped the back of my seat, I smiled and awkwardly said hello. She smiled back before running away. Further behind, a lady stood on the aisle. She was on the phone, waiting to talk to the supervisor. It seems she called the Via Rail Canada customer relations. And she was livid.
Over half an hour ago, the train crew announced that we were going to be delayed another 20 minutes because a freight train ahead of us was having technical difficulties. We hadn’t moved since and nobody was impressed. Even worse, the snack bar was already closed and a handful of increasingly aggravated adults and cranky children–including the cute little girl–hadn’t eaten breakfast. It was 3 PM.
Behind me, the lady –whom I will now refer to as Margaret*– was pacing back and forth, waiting for the customer service supervisor. “Hello, this is John.” a man’s voice said through the speakerphone.
Margaret went on to talk about our predicament.
We’d been stuck in the same spot waiting for a freight train ahead of us to move. At this point, we’d been waiting for nearly an hour and the crew on board had not given us an update. She asked John if there’s anything they could do to get us moving. Not surprisingly, he said there was nothing they could do until the freight train moves.
Margaret was not happy.
“There’s nothing you can do?” she snapped, “What if I call 911 instead? Would that work? Would they be able to get us moving?”
“I’m sure it would.” Maybe I imagined it, but I sensed sarcasm in John’s voice. I tried hard not to laugh.
Margaret hung up, shaking her head. To my surprise, she actually proceeded to call 911. My eyeballs almost popped out of their socket. She actually did it. She was not messing around.
She proceeded to recount the situation. At this point, some passengers were starting to exchange nervous looks. I think they might have thought that she had gone overboard.
Possibly sensing the disapproving looks from some passengers, Margaret continued her phone call with the police in the next car.
“I wonder if she’ll go to jail.” a young man said, referring to possible penalties for 911 misuse.