Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kudos for the Day - January 11, 2007

I'm several days late in acknowledging it, but I did not want to let it go by. I have put up a number of Pet Peeve of the Day posts where I bitched about something or someone that annoyed me. But I don't want to give the impression that I don't appreciate the good things in life too.

This past Friday morning when I boarded the 8:33 train at Hicksville for Penn Station and sat in my seat, I realized that I forgot to bring my monthly ticket. By the time I realized it, the doors had already closed and the train was on its way to the next stop. Even worse, I only had one dollar on me, so I could not even afford to purchase a ticket from the conductor.

As the train started to pick up speed, I saw the conductor at the far end of the car. Rather than remain in my seat and wait for him to get to my end of the car, I got up and walked down the car towards him. He saw me and asked me to wait a moment while he finished checking the tickets of the passengers in the section. When he was done and gave me his attention, I explained to him that I forgot my monthly ticket. Expecting him to tell me that I would need to buy a ticket on the train, I was surprised when he waved his hand dismissively and said "Don't worry about it" as he continued on to check the tickets of the other passengers.

I had seen a number of times where passengers would tell conductors that they forgot their monthly tickets and the conductors would insist that they had to pay the fare. Experienced conductors have probably learned to tell when a passenger is sincere and when they are full of shit. Furthermore, when confronted with such a situation near other passengers, they probably feel more pressured to insist that the passenger buy a ticket, because otherwise other passengers might claim that they forgot their monthly ticket too and ride the train for free. When I explained my situation to this conductor, we were in the open area where the car doors were, and the fact that I proactively approached him rather than remained in my seat must have convinced him of my sincerity.

I didn't get that conductor's name, but I thank him for his kindness and understanding.

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