An experiment in frustration?

Taking senior moments to extremes I left my bag on the bus this morning. A bag with all my planning and assessments, my all areas school pass, my phone charger and school diary and (possibly most important) lunch and flask of coffee.

Tuesday, of course, is the day that I don’t have a minute to breathe. Teaching from the off, playground duty, then more teaching until lunch. The lost property dept at Arriva buses does not open until the point I was supposed to start teaching.

Squeezing out a bit of time between lessons I manage to get through to a voice recognition software labyrinth which was a bit like being in Phonejacker.

“State clearly the number of the bus that you lost your property on.”

“2 – 5 – 3”

“Did you say..1-6-7? ..say yes or no.”


…and so on for another dozen variations in which the closest it came to what I was saying was 255. But I think this was just a tease. It struck me that, as firms record messages for training purposes, this might be a fiendish practical joke designed to get recordings of people in a state of gradually escalating exasperation. Its hard to believe anyone ever gets through, especially because every time it got it wrong the option to revert to “the operator” just took you back to the beginning of the labyrinth to have another go.


“Did you say N528?..say yes or no.”


“I didn’t understand what you said….”

Luckily there was a general enquiries email contact somewhere on their website, which responded quickly and gave the address of the bus garage the 253 ends up at. Phoning that was a joy. Straight through to a friendly, slightly sardonic human being at Stamford Hill, who asked me to describe the bag and told me he’d got it. Blessed relief. He was waiting behind his rather cosy, old fashioned bus office desk – a bit like ticket offices used to be  before they went all slick – with a big smile on his face when I went out there after school. I asked if they had a lot of lost bags…”all the time, I’ve had two more since you called”, and held them up like a pair of dead pheasants.





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