As a home and pet sitter I try to use public transport where I can but the other day I decided to use the train for pleasure. Not wanting to break a large note and having my fare in change I walked to my nearest railway station in plenty of time for the 11.09 am. I didn’t have to wait long before it was my turn to purchase my ticket and proffered the correct money to the to the chap sitting in the ticket office whilst I eyed the open tin of milk chocolate biscuits that sat invitingly on the desk next to him.

“I can’t except that!” The ticket clerk told me, “It’s not legal tender!” I diverted my gaze from the biscuits and looked him full in the face to see if he was joking!

“I’m sorry, what isn’t legal tender?” He didn’t look like someone who employed jokey banter in the course of his transactions with the public.

“You can’t pay with more than 20 pence in 2 pence pieces!” I was told rather sternly, I thought.

I could feel the colour rising in my cheeks and became acutely aware of the snickering teenagers standing behind me.

“But I’m only paying 70 pence of a £3.70 fare in 2 pence pieces, can’t you accept such a small amount or are you making it up because you can’t be arsed to count it?!” Admittedly I probably should have refrained from using the word arsed and calling him lazy!

The ticket clerk was unmoved and bent to pick-up a large folder from beneath his desk which turned out to be a procedural manual. By which time I was well aware of the amusement I was providing to everyone in the queue behind me. Feeling thoroughly self-conscious, frustrated and having temporarily forgotten the 20 pound note I had folded-up in my purse I turned abruptly on my heel and flounced off muttering darkly under my breath that he was “a bloody jobsworth!” before the ticket clerk could find the relevent ruling in his folder and humiliate me further!

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