Saturday 9 October 2021

Essential Snobbery 101: A class of crass

Class is a state of mind

“You have no respect for 1st Class, that’s why you have your feet on the seats.” That was the part of the conversation that begun a bit earlier when 6 or 7 girls took up seats in the carriage completely unaware of other occupants.

The train conductor then asked if they had 1st Class tickets, which they didn’t and as he tried to move them on, they remonstrated that they did not know they were in first-class seats, which was a blatant lie because when they got on the train, that was the first conversation between them before they decided to stay rather than find other seats matching their tickets.

Class treats you as you are

One of the girls made an unnecessarily rude comment to which the train conductor retorted; she should get her eyes tested. Then came a torrent of abuse and invective along with the comment that he, the conductor was not respectful of customers and that if he was unhappy with his job, he should resign. All for asking them to move to the seats for which they had tickets.

The train conductor could have asked them to get off the train or called the British Transport Police on them for their abuse, but he let them move to the next carriage. Unfortunately, that was not the matter, for when he did go through the train checking tickets, the truculent and unruly girls continued their atrocious behaviour, which he ignored.

They all got off at the next station and rather than walk away, they came up the platform to swear at and make rude gestures at the train conductor, I felt quite sorry for him, yet it was all in a day’s work.

Class is being attentive

If you do not want to be talked down to by officials, read the signs and where you are unsure, ask questions. Behave yourself that you do not attract sanction or opprobrium and do not take the patience or docility of staff for stupidity, they have rights and powers that can frustrate your about to become inconsequential existence.

I could only wonder what the girls were at home, at that time of the day, they probably had no homes they belonged to with any structure, discipline, or social comportment and that is why they were flipping out even though they were totally in the wrong and could not accept they were wrong or being told that they were. If I view the future through my observation of those girls, I would have been filled with trepidation, there must be better ahead than that.

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