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While purchasing a train ticket in Oceanside shortly after 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 27, I witnessed some of the chaos of this holiday travel season.

An Amtrak passenger had been left behind after she had detrained in Oceanside. She was expecting the train to take her to the next stop in Solana Beach.

As I waited in line to purchase a ticket, I heard an Amtrak ticket clerk page the passenger. The woman came rushing in, and the agent told her that the conductor was on the phone and had the purse the passenger had left on the train.

The angry passenger yelled, “That [expletive deleted] woman that was working left me on the platform after I got off the train to help an 80-year-old woman. She closed the door in my face, and as I was running alongside the train she just looked at me.”

From their ensuing conversation, I learned that the passenger had also gotten off the train to smoke. She told the station employee that the train conductor told her she had to be 20 feet from the door in order to smoke and that because the train was about 15 minutes late not to get off.

The empathetic ticket clerk called the Solana Beach station and had an employee meet the train to retrieve the passenger’s belongings. The disgruntled woman said she was going to call Amtrak and complain because she had gotten off the train to help an elderly woman.

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