“Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!” as Kenneth Williams once, so famously said.
I’m beginning to think that ticket dispensing machines have been warned to make my life as difficult as possible. On Monday I had another run in with another formidable machine, with a will of its own and a trick of throwing my ticket on the floor as though it was having a tantrum.
I was trying to pay a parking fee for the car-park in St Richards Hospital in Chichester, in a well used machine that should have been used to the vagaries of motorists and entirely able to cope with them. But no! This one took exception to everything I did. When I slid the ticket into the slot marked ‘ticket’ it gave a metallic growl and threw it on the floor. I pondered a little, as one does, and tried putting it in the other way round and this time it condescended to accept it, did a certain amount of growling and clicking and displayed the fee. But oh sob and horror, I took too long finding the necessary coins. This time I could almost hear it sighing. There was another prodigious growl and the ticket was thrown on the floor again.
My turn to sigh. I picked it up and carefully put it back in the right way round and inserted my coins feeling quite hopeful. It didn’t work. One of the coins didn’t pass muster and was thrown out into the tray. I hardly need to tell you what happened to the ticket. By this time I was causing a queue and beginning to feel flustered, Quick, Quick, now what? Change the coin, clutch the coins, retrieve the ticket from the floor, start the whole process again gritting my teeth. Pause. More sighs from the machine, various clicks and the occasional growl and oh bliss! the money was accepted and clutching my ticket, I could get back to the car and normal life. Leaving the patient queue to do battle in their turn.
I hate machines!