I have to say this week got off to a fantastic start! Running late for work (with particular emphasis on the “running”) – I only just managed to catch the train in time. That elated feeling of “phew” subsided when the train pulled off and the ticket inspector arrived. Then the realisation hit: I’d left my mobile phone and wallet on the desk at home. Thankfully the ticket inspector recognised me and said “Season holder right?”. I nodded. Over the first hurdle, but more were to come – how would I get past the barriers?
After arriving and being directed from pillar to post by almost every member of station personnel on the platform – it appeared no one really had a clue what to do – least of all me. The station manager I was told was in a very important meeting. I considered taking the train back again (which would have cost me around two hours and a hefty spot fine if caught), I saw the younger “less forgiving” ticket inspector get on so I thought better of it. Drat! By now I was feeling like Tom Hanks in The Terminal.
Around this point something caught my eye – a poster which had the station manager on it. And who would this be who has just stepped out onto the opposite platform? Seizing the moment I bounded over the bridge and said “You’re the station manager right?”. His face and response were priceless – “Er, only if it’s not a complaint”. At last I found the right person, who was admittedly extremely helpful – my details were checked and through I went. Albeit one way – and without a phone or any money.
Next mission then, to blag some money for food/refreshments/train ticket home from a work colleague (thankfully a lot easier than getting out of the station). Brandishing a tenner, I carefully budgeted the rest of the day. Amazingly I was able to get teas/coffees, a three-course meal, a luxury drink and most importantly the train ticket back from this – with plenty of change to spare.
Thinking back afterwards this struck me how these are exactly the sorts of things which are all par for the course as a film producer: panic, talking to people, blagging, problem solving, seizing the moment, limited resources, asking for money, budgeting and making ends meet. So it seems I put some of these skills to good use throughout the day. And amazingly, I haven’t forgotten my wallet since.