I'd been called to Werribee to deliver training on job application and interview skills. It turned out to be an interesting topic. I was surprised at how many people insist that a resume must include a photograph, or even a video clip. I had been completely unprepared for the sessions, having originally arrived to deliver a different course, but the reception seemed fine. It made me feel like applying for jobs myself with my newly-trained skills.
Since construction work commenced on the Frankston train line, I've been taking the Dandenong line. I must have been engrossed in my Gameboy game, because I looked up just in time to see my train pulling up to the stop. I hastily stashed it in my bag and headed to the train's door. I was last in a trail of commuters trailing out of the carriage, and as I was stepping out, a young lady, clutching a smart phone to her face, ran up the ramp towards the carriage. As she headed towards the door I was stepping through, she crashed into another passenger leaving the train and stumbled.
She followed the trajectory towards the carriage she'd started on, and for a moment, it seemed she would skirt past me successfully into the train. Instead, she just missed, and slipped into the narrow space between the edge of the platform and the train carriage. I was a little surprised at how easily and completely she seemed to have fallen down. In one fluid action, she'd gone from upright and about my height to partially obscured beneath the platform and trapped. I wouldn't have even imagined it to have been possible - the gap is such a small one, and she wasn't a remarkably thin woman. She was slim, but not unusually so. It seems like it would be hard to guide a smaller object to fall into the narrow space, yet this girl had fallen in without trying.
She sank beneath the platform to her elbows, which had slammed with a painful-sounding crack into the carriage floor, and now seemed to be all that was supporting her. I'd grabbed her shoulder, but only seemed to be holding a piece of the flimsy fabric of her shirt. She was still holding the phone.
I tried to clutch the girl's shoulder, but couldn't hold on in a way which seemed helpful. She wasn't moving a lot. I had assumed that she would lift herself with her elbows, but she didn't do so, and I wondered if she was unable to move in the gap at all. Instead, I stepped back into the carriage and fumbled to grip the girl's shoulders from a frontal position. When I failed to lift her from this position, I took a more awkward one. Crouched in front of her, I put my arms underneath hers and then returned to a standing position, lifting her up out of the gap with me. It must have looked awkward to the bystanders crowded around. Once I'd brought her up, she stumbled forward into a chair as tone rang indicating the doors would close, and I quickly stepped back.
As I left the station, with the train doors closing, I noticed the station's transit police running in my direction. I hoped they weren't prompted by my inappropriate grasp of the girl's body, though they did seem to be pointedly running in my direction. I quickened my pace toward the underpass exiting the station, putting dawdling commuters between us. By the time I'd left the underpass, I couldn't see the officers when I checked quickly over my shoulder.
I rushed to my car. I had to get home quickly. I'd left my game of Secret Files: Tunguska running on my Gameboy in my bag, and had to save it or risk losing my progress.