Rail franchise SouthEastern has been forced to apologise after providing a cruel glimmer of hope to its beleaguered passengers.
According to a company spokesperson, the firm ran most of its trains on time, with the correct number of carriages, functioning toilets and few seat cushions inexplicably missing, for a three-day period earlier in July. "This offered a tantalising mirage of barely adequate customer service that unfairly created a momentary hope of respite for our customers," the firm admitted.
As a result of the brief hiatus, the company's usual shambolic and piss-poor service, which was swiftly resumed, seemed even more of a deliberate insult to the commuters of Kent and South East London than it had before.
Regular commuter Dave Crofton-Park lamented the short-lived vision of service acceptability. "I travel by SouthEastern every work-day, and I'd grown accustomed to the lateness, unbearable heat and overcrowding - and the resulting atmosphere of passive aggression and barely-suppressed rage among my fellow-passengers. But when they managed to run a good service for a couple of days, that was like the final straw, because you knew then that they could do it if they actually gave a shit."
SouthEastern's spokesperson was contrite, saying that "I can only apologise - although I won't, because at SouthEastern our main concern is our shareholders. The regulator is frankly toothless, we have a monopoly over local rail services and any customers who are stupid enough to use our trains can go and fuck themselves."