Our incorrigible bent for synchronised fawning made it as predictable as it was painful.

And so, along with innumerable brown-tongue aficionados, a facade of pitiful, performative grieving was thrust upon the traveling public by National Rail.

In doing so, they scuppered the plans of those who possessed not the requisite beady-eyed dexterity to navigate the camouflaged script on display, while at the same time firing a shit-seeking missile into the guts of their own sales.

Take a bow, you berks.

Stare at that screen for too long, and you’ll go slitty-eyed.

Most impressive was the refreshingly transparent service advisor who couldn’t make head nor tail of it either – and fessed up. It was all Greek to him, sand therefore customers who had deigned to seek assistance ended up getting a double rooting.

But that’s where any plaudits for the service tool got diverted to the sidings. His solution was ‘to leave a note’ for the team to pick up the following day:

Oh, how we’ve all hit that brick wall.

That’s up there with ‘leave a message, and we’ll get back to you shortly’ or even ‘the cheque’s in the post’.

It represents 21st century customer service down to a tee: pass the buck, keep the inbox clear, and we’re all good. That is everybody bar the customer.

The solution is never to, you know, solve something.

Even after they’d read the proverbial note, they still couldn’t get their abysmal act together:

What additional feedback might they have been angling for? Holding out for any old schmuck who was going to pipe up that the characters were crystal clear?

If only they’d called Winston Wolf, he might have popped over, and after a dialogue-heavy palaver, might have adjusted the settings to revert the colours back to how they were.

Perhaps they should have just decommissioned the trains and replaced them with bandwagons for the period of mourning?

As it was, Marvin got shot in the face, and the service goons were in Micawber-mode, hoping for anything to just turn up.

Unfortunately, even the Wolf solution begins with an objective-focused phone call rather than a wistful hope that he will proactively get in touch.

Confoundingly, the EU apparently has a web accessibility directive that would have avoided this kind of imbroglio, but in truth, the existence of such a failsafe would arguably have miffed us all more than the botch-up.

But viewed positively, it is at least gratifying that at a time of national mourning, we can achieve the most British of accomplishments of making our shitbag rail service even worse than it already is.

Lest we forget, this voluntary derailment is but a microcosm for what has been unfolding in our wider society for many years.

We’ve long since had our fill and hit the old buffers because we’ve allowed ourselves to be led by them.

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