Some Passengers Don’t Ever ‘Get It’.
This past Saturday afternoon, as the Coast Starlight was passing through a particularly beautiful area of the Cascade Range south of Eugene, Oregon, a woman in her 60s came into the Sightseer Lounge car, flopped into one of the choice seats and almost immediately fell asleep. There was a steep slope close up to the tracks on the other side of the train, so only half the seats in the car had a view. A number of other passengers had to stand in the aisle in order to admire the scenery while the woman remained slumped and snoring in that choice seat. Sometimes you really have to wonder!
And earlier, there was an older British gent who got into a minor altercation at lunch with one of the servers in the dining car. He was unhappy to discover that he was being seated at a table with another couple and informed the server that he wanted a table all to himself.
“I’m sorry, sir,” she said politely, “we have limited seating and we have to fill all the tables.”
“But I wish to be seated alone,” he said stiffly.
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible, sir,” said the server quite firmly, ‘we’ve been doing it this way at Amtrak for 40 years.”
“And I’ve been doing it MY way for 67 years,” snapped the Brit. And he stalked out of the dining car.
In addition to being an arrogant twit, he’s a damned fool, because meeting new and interesting people over meals in an Amtrak dining car is one of the genuine pleasures of train travel. I said as much to the server, a 17-year Amtrak veteran. “I get someone like that at least once every day,” she said. “They usually end up having the car attendant bring every meal to their bedrooms.”
What wasted opportunities!