Making A Graceful Exit… Eventually

, , , , | Hopeless | August 5, 2019

(I’m the bad customer in this story. I drop my fare card after passing through the subway gantry, so when I reach my destination, I have to talk to the station staff. I pay my fare in cash on the spot so he lets me through, and they call to my entry station to ask them if they have found my card. Luckily, it was in a distinctive cardholder, and they are able to find it. That evening on the way home, I stop at the office to collect my card. The next morning, I have a bout of asthma, so I’m running slightly late. When I reach the station, I try to use the card, only to be told “exit error.” The card was used for an entry yesterday, but not an exit. I have to talk to the station staff.)

Me: “I dropped my card yesterday after tapping in.”

Staff: “Yes, it’s showing that you tapped in, but did not exit.”

Me: “Yes, but I collected my card from the office here yesterday evening. They knew that I’d dropped it; why didn’t they reset the card?”

Staff: “Oh, perhaps it was a different staff member who found the card.”

Me: “But when I collected the card in the evening, I had to explain the situation again. The staff member who passed me the card could have done it then.”

Staff: “Okay, I’ll do it now.”

Me: “I’m going to be late.” *panicking by this point*

Staff: *scanning the card* “Okay, so when you reached [Destination] did you pay your fare?”

Me: “Yes, I paid the fare in cash. You can call the station and check with [Staff] who helped me yesterday.”

Staff: “Do you have the receipt?”

(I try to search but I can’t find it.)

Me: “I don’t think I kept it.” *panicking*

Staff: “Okay, but I know there’s no way you could have gotten out unless you’d paid. Since you’re standing here and not stuck at [Destination], I’ll reset your card and refund the charge on your card.”

Me: *relieved* “Thank you!” *realises that he is trying to make me feel better with a joke*

(I get to work on time, thanks to his quick thinking. Later, I find the receipt, which fell to the bottom of my bag. On the way back a few days later, I see him on the night shift. I stop by to apologise.)

Me: “Hi. Do you remember me? I was the girl who dropped my card and was not able to tap in the next day. I found my receipt, and I wasn’t late to work, thanks to your able assistance.”

Staff: “That’s great. Yeah, I remember you. I’m glad you made it to work on time.”

Me: “I’m sorry if I was impatient the other day. It wasn’t that I was upset with you. I had a bout of asthma before that, so I was running late for work. I would usually be there in plenty of time.”

Staff: “No wonder you were in such a panic. I could see you were just frazzled and in a big rush. I didn’t take it personally. But it’s nice you stopped by to say thanks. I appreciate it.” 

(He looked quite happy. Thank you, friendly station guy, for helping me, keeping your cool when I was upset, and trying to make me feel better with a joke!)

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