For my Sabarimala trip, I took a ticket to Erumely. On the day of the journey, I was informed by Golden Pearl folks that the bus has been cancelled. They offered to put me on any other bus that could take me to Ernakulam, Kottayam, Chengannur or Pattanamthitta. None of these options would help me maintain my schedule, unless I did something extra ordinary. So, I took the bus that seemed the fastest, and took a seat to Ernakulam. I had to arrange a taxi from Ernakulam to Pamba.
The bus that I was put in to was late by 1hr to make matters worse for me.
About staff behaviour: They were rather rude, and were talking through the night at the top of their voice. In between, one of the staff members were smoking inside the cabin!
The bus had many empty seats; I was in the first row seat, right side, and the seat next to me was also empty. The cleaner of the bus chose the seat next to me, which was alright in principle. But the way he was sitting and behaving seemed as if he owns the bus! absolutely unconcerned about the co-passenger's entitlement on the one-seat space that one had booked!