The five stages of trying to connect to train wifi, from hope to abject rage and despair

THOUGHT you’d do a bit of work using the train wifi? Think again, fool. Here’s how attempting to connect will break your spirit in five depressing stages.

1. Hope: Trying to connect

You booked a seat at a table so you can comfortably use your laptop, and this is going to be a highly productive journey. Just got to find the train wifi on the ‘network’ list and connect. Hmm, looks like there are an awful lot of hotspotted phones in this carriage. Why would anyone waste their data when there’s reliable wifi included in the price of their ticket? Weird.

2. Irritation: 17 minutes have passed

Well, this is taking longer than you’d hoped. Why does the wifi symbol keep greying out? It looked like it had connected for a moment there and then the train went in a tunnel and kicked you off again. The guy sitting opposite has been watching something on his phone the whole time. Is he somehow hogging the signal? Selfish, thieving bastard.

3. Anger: What is wrong with this piece of shit train?

More than 45 minutes have passed and you still haven’t got on the sodding wifi. You could crack and use your hotspot like everyone else, but you were promised free wifi and you’re going to bloody well get it. You try connecting for the 578th time, filling out the online form again that wants to send you ‘offers and promotions’ for more shitty train journeys, as if they’re somehow fun and you love cancellations, having to stand up, and last-minute platform changes.

4. Bargaining: Asking the conductor for help

Look, this is stupid. They wouldn’t proudly advertise free wifi if it was utterly f**king useless, would they? There must be a simple explanation, like it isn’t switched on. Flag down a highly stressed conductor as they pass through to ask them about the connectivity, and receive a blank look as if you’d said, ‘Where are the inter-dimensional time portals?’

5. Rage and despair: F**k this I’m going to the buffet for some beers

Consider flinging your laptop down the aisle, or stamping on the foot of the man opposite, and then give up the dream of finishing that report and accept that you’ll have to do it when you get home. You decide to take the edge off by going to the buffet to get a beer, only to find it’s f**king shut, the f**king motherf**ker.

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How to dodge an end-of-date kiss without openly saying 'F**k no!'

IT’S that magical moment when your awful date has come to an end. But the other person may want a kiss and you can’t say outright they haven’t got a f**king chance. What should you do?

Public transport is your friend

Few dates, no matter how freakish, are likely to lean in for a first smooch on a tube full of staring, lurching strangers. Also the harsh lighting shows up every skin flaw and generally makes you look ill and unappealing. When you reach your stop, simply shout ‘This is me then’ at the last second and fling yourself out of the closing doors. (Note: Don’t do this in Uber pools.)

Keep your distance

If your date leans forwards, you lean back. If they take a step toward you, go for a quick do-si-do. If they lunge for your mouth, bend your knees and duck as if someone’s thrown a brick at your head. Or just run off down the street at full pelt — if you bump into them again say you developed a sudden phobia of buildings or something. You’ll look deranged, but it’s not like you’re getting married. Although your date wouldn’t care if there was a chance of a shag.

Stay the f**k away from romance

Avoid any romantic shit you seen in a rom-com. Put your hair up so it can’t be tucked romantically behind an ear; keep your eyes closed, so nothing can get stuck in them and need gently removing. If it’s raining, stay the f**k inside – sharing an umbrella and frolicking in a storm with gay abandon is just too romantic. You need to tread carefully – including literally, so there’s no chance of you tripping and needing to be caught in loving, protective arms.

Fake a conspiracy theory

If you know any conspiracy theories, now is the time to whip them out. Even the most sex-starved date will question your suitability as a snog/shag/partner when you start prattling on about Covid being a lie to cover up human sacrifices by Hillary and her satanist buddies. Of course, if they turn out to be a 5G anti-vax nutter too, you’ll be desirable beyond words. Try to enjoy the compliment.

Just say ‘F**k no!’

If they’re really determined to get that brief, overly-optimistic kiss, you’ll have to ditch the kindness and tell them straight up that you’re not feeling it. In Britain there’s nothing more socially deviant than being honest about what you think, so they’ll instantly brand you a freak and get the hell away.