Sunday, October 15, 2006

A funny thing happened on the way ..

A funny thing happened on the way back from Tonbridge today.

I had planned on getting an earlier train, but I ended up on a later one instead.
The driver had parked the Disabled carriage too close to the station buildings so there wasn't enough room for the ramp and insufficient space to manoeuvre the scooter. So they put me in another carriage.

A man with Learning Disabilities got on with me and he made a bit of a fuss of the dog. He sat in the middle of the carriage where some young guys quickly engaged him in conversation. It was lewd and degrading but as he seemed to enjoy participating, I did nothing. But after a couple of stations some teenage girls got on. They began teasing, mocking and bullying, and he ran off to the end of the carriage where he had a panic attack.

I had already decided that I was going to intervene - I could not sit idly by while a defenceless person was bullied. I calmed him down, got him to trust me and led him up the carriage to where I was sitting. One of the girls asked if I knew him, but I said 'No, but I can see he needs some help' quite frostily. They had managed to convince him that the best way to Tunbridge Wells was via Ramsgate - which in truth would add hours to his journey. The man wasn't even on the right train.

I told him to get off with me at Folkestone, where I know the station staff, and know that they are good, kind and responsible people. As we got off, the girls did too and I think they were a bit ashamed because they made some remarks about hoping he would be OK and that he would get home safely.

Anyway, it was an hour to the next train, so I took him home and gave him some tea and biscuits, and lent him an old coat as he was cold. Then Caelyn and Nigel gave him a lift back to the station, and Nigel took him to the Station Supervisor's office where he was assured that the staff would see that he got back to Tonbridge safely.

It was lucky that I got the 'wrong' train and landed up in the 'wrong' carriage. I hope he got home safely, poor man.

1 comment:

Shaun said...

Don't you love it when our 'wrongs' are used for God's rights? I'm glad you were there. Thanks for being a willing vessel, Sue. Cheers and a Hug.