This week’s blog was going to be something very different, but I witnessed such a lovely exchange on a train to Devon yesterday that I wanted to share it.
I was in the Quiet Carriage, and the lady sat behind me was on the phone, informing the person collecting her from Paignton station that she was going to be late as the train was late. She was chatting for a few minutes when the man next to me got up and reminded the lady on the phone that this was a quiet carriage and mobile phones are not permitted.
At this point, I imagined the following scene: the lady on the phone would get embarrassed, huffily make a big deal of ending the call, and mutter a sarcastic comment; and the man would frown and mumble under his breath, while everyone else within hearing distance would try not to make eye contact. This has happened before and it usually plays out like this. Awkward…
However, this time it was different. The lady on the phone said that of course she would finish her call, she had forgotten about the phone ban, and that she was sorry for disturbing anyone; the man acknowledged her apology and quietly sat back down. Everyone else got on with what they were doing. From my perspective, it was a masterclass in not taking offence. Of course the man who asked for the quiet carriage rules to be respected wasn’t trying to embarrass the lady, and his intention was genuine. The lady’s response was without attitude or retaliation: she just accepted it.
This sort of exchange seems quite rare – and perhaps because both people involved looked over 80, it was different to what might usually happen. It was so delightful to have seen something so sincere. No tricks, just a real treat!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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