Student Cards Require Some Study

, , , | Right | November 26, 2019

(Our train station kiosk is not owned by the railway company — like most here in the country are — and people often don’t know that besides selling coffee and snacks we also provide travel info. In the Netherlands, all students above 18 get a public transport card — PT card — which they can use to travel for free on weekdays and get a discount during holidays. It’s summer break at the moment. A mother and her teenage son walk in. They both seem quite nervous.)

Mother: “You don’t happen to know anything about student PT cards, do you?”

Me: “Sure, I do! I used to have one when I was in college. What do you need to know?”

Mother: “Well, my son here needs to activate his subscription on his card but we don’t know how!

Me: “Don’t worry. It’s easy. Let me show you.”

(I walk outside with them to the machine. I put his card in front of the reader, select ”pick up subscription,” select the only option it gives next, and then proceed to hold the card in front of the reader a second time, like instructed on the screen.)

Me: “There you go. All set.”

Mother: “Oh, it works that fast? Can he travel using this card now?”

Me: “Technically, yes. But because it’s summer break it’s not valid yet, but it automatically will be once school starts. Until then, he travels with a 40% discount.”

Mother: “So, he won’t have to do anything to make it valid?”

Me: “No, ma’am, like I said, that happens automatically.”

Mother: “So, we can use it… like… right now?”

Me: *not knowing how to make myself more clear* “You could, but only with 40% discount. It’s not for free yet. It will be come September. 

Mother: “Are you sure? He can use it once school starts? What if he wants to use it now?” 

(This goes back and forth a couple more times. Finally, I manage to convince her they’re all set.)

Mother: “Well, because you did it so quickly, I just had to make sure, you know! Thanks for the help!”

(They are about to leave when the son speaks up:)

Son: “So, you’re sure I can use this now?” 

Me: *exploding inside*

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