Thursday, 17 September 2009

On the Buses Episode I The Phantom Moaner

How r ya? Hope all is cool with you!

A few months ago I was lucky enough to be invited to Mark & Kim's wedding in Aberdeen, I was living in Edinburgh at the time so forced to take the Bus so I could attend the stag parties and the wedding itself. I do not enjoy taking the bus, and this I had such a shitty bus journey I wrote a letter of complaint to the company! I've never written a letter of complaint before but I was so pissed off I felt I had to. I was ideally looking for my money back because I am so poor, sadly that didn't happen but i did enjoy my correspondence with the company and over the next few days i will share that with you!
So here is my initial letter. Enjoy.

To Whom it May Concern,

Good day. I am sorry to say that I am writing to you to express my extreme disappointment in your service.

Upon hearing the news that my good friend Mark proposed to his long term girlfriend, I was overcome with joy. This would mean a stag do and a wedding. The date was set for June 20th 2009. I immediately booked time off work and made arrangements for somewhere to stay in Aberdeen. As funds are a bit tight at the moment I decided that bus was the most financially viable way to travel. I decided that the Bobs Big Bus Company would be the best option as they are both big and cheap. This is a decision I have come to regret. I booked a ticket on the 13:35 bus to Aberdeen. This was the most suitable time for me to travel as I am an incredibly lazy man and I am not good in the mornings!

Upon arrival at Edinburgh bus station I was surprised to discover that there was no bus on the departure screen heading to Aberdeen. I asked an incredibly grumpy man wearing a bright yellow Bobs Big Bus vest what bus I should get. He told me the Dundee bus and change there. I then mosied along to the stance (what is a stance anyway? Surely it is a stand or a stop) where the bus was and patiently waited to embark. This did take a while as the driver appeared to be 300 years old. I eventually boarded the coach, took my seat and to pass the time started watching a video on my i-phone, (it was an episode of the awesome 30 Rock, incase you’re interested) it was very entertaining, so much so in fact that after its 20 minute running time I looked out the window expecting to see some of the glorious architecture that fills our nations capital. I was amazed to discover we had not left the bus station. So when I looked out the window I saw what looked like a tramp convention. The driver seemed to be struggling to get the bus started. This may have something to do with him being from the middle ages and more used to driving a horse and cart. A Red haired man (and I mean red, it was dyed bright red, why would you do that?) then came on the bus and said there were technical difficulties and we would be on the way within 5 minutes. I was already concerned at this point. If the bus isn’t starting on the first 17 attempts then why the hell would anyone want to drive it to another city. What if we break down or crash and have to eat each other like in that film Alive ??

What felt like an hour later the red haired man came on and told us we were moving to another coach. When we moved onto the other coach there appeared to be no one checking tickets and everyone just piled on. The red haired man did do a head count, but I have reason to doubt his numeracy skills as there was a family of 3 rather drunken Glaswegians sitting in front of me who said, “ Just shut up and he won’t notice us.”

By this point I was slightly annoyed at the delay but I accept that these things happen. We then spent what seemed like a month sitting in the station and then the worst happened. An incredibly fat man came on and sat next to me. I pretended to be asleep but this did not work. This guy was massive, he took up half of my seat! I do not think this is very fair, if you are not of a reasonable size then you should have to buy two tickets. Why should a fat person get half of my seat space? I was tempted to ask him to pay half my fare. Also he did not smell nice. Now don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not the kind of guy who goes around smelling people for fun, but you could smell this guy a mile off. At first I thought it was some kind of chemical weapon attack. He farted about 20 minutes into the journey and I’m sure I felt the whole bus shake. Once the journey started, I am sorry to say it did not improve. The Drunken Glaswegians would not shut up, they kept singing. They seemed to be quite happy that they were going on holiday, god knows why as they appeared to be holidaying in Dundee.

I must say though, they did have most impressive luggage. They had a red chuppa chups case. I am impressed that chuppa chups have expanded their business model beyond lollipops and into the luggage industry. This is a bold move given the current economic climate and I wish them all the best.

I was incredibly relieved to get off the bus when we finally arrived at Dundee, the stench was becoming unbearable and I am fairly certain the drunken Glaswegians had collectively wet themselves.

Upon arrival at Dundee I was annoyed about being late but incredibly grateful to discover that the Aberdeen bus would be here at 16:10. The current time was 16:05 and I was glad not to be spending any time in the city of discovery, the only thing I would like to discover is a faster way out. 16:10 came and then the bus disappeared from the departures screen but never physically appeared in the station. Do you have invisible buses? I would be surprised if the bus industry has access to such advanced technology. Around 16:30 a bus appeared and a man with multi coloured hair (what is it with your company and hair colour, this guy had red, green, blond and blue) shouted “first 20 tickets for Aberdeen, next bus will be here in 25 minutes” and then he went for a fag.

This caused an outrage amongst my fellow passenger who had been waiting for over half an hour. It was like those seats were the lifeboats on the Titanic! That’s how desperate people were to get out of Dundee!

It was at 16:45 when a bus eventually arrived to take the rest of us to Aberdeen. I was happy to see the bus would not be full so I could put my feet up but I was nearly sick when I boarded the coach due to the overwhelming STENCH of urine. I looked around for the Glaswegian family but they were nowhere to be found. It was minging!

The point in getting this bus was to get to Aberdeen before 5 pm. I had dinner reservations at 5:30 which I could not make, we could not reschedule as there were plans for later on that evening. I was forced to survive on quarter pounder with cheese from Mcdonalds as there was no time to eat for the rest of the evening. I have a friend who is a frequent user of your bus’s and quite often praises you for being cheap yet still efficient. I must say I disagree with her and next time I travel I will be taking the train. Throughout my entire journey no explanation or apology was offered and to be honest that would have been enough. I over heard someone ask the striped hair man in Dundee about the next bus he just then repeated in a louder voice ”it’ll be here in 25 minutes”. May I suggest you encourage your staff to communicate better with the public. Having observed some of your customers I realize this may not be easy as they are what I would describe as “scum.” May I also suggest you put up a sign asking all passengers to shower and use the toilet before embarking on the bus. (although not at the same time) It really was minging. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter. I should let you know I will be writing about this experience in my online blog. (Check it out at This is read by at least 6 people a week and I would like to think you would take all my comments on the chin and respond to me in a positive manner. I (and my 6 readers) eagerly await your response.

Kind Regards

Andy G

Part II : The Wrath Of Big Bob will be online in a couple of days.
Until Next time
Have a nice

Andy G

This Blog was written while listening to Huey Lewis & the News

They Rock! 80's style!

And just in case anyone is interested I am still reading Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer
It's a very good read.

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