Your Card Is Up

, , , | Right | July 25, 2021

I work at a bus station, and a lot of the job is selling reusable bus fare cards. They’re RFID cards with a small chip at one end — roughly the same place as a credit card — and a very thin wire antenna around the edge of the card. They have a thirty-day warranty in case of faults, but this is void if the card is damaged, including being bent or having a hole punched into it (to connect to a lanyard). This is explained when the card is bought AND in paperwork you get with it. We would also offer cardholder keychains for sale to help protect the cards, but most people just keep them in their wallets.

A family comes in: a father, mother, and son, about twelve-ish. The father flicks the card onto the counter.

Father: “He needs a replacement; it’s stopped working.”

I pick up the card and don’t even need to look closely to see that it’s buckled and bent. I test it, and yes, it’s definitely broken.

Me: “Okay, I’ll just need you to fill out this form, and it’s $10 for a replacement.”

Father: “Why $10?!”

Me: “That’s how much they cost.”

Father: “He’s only had it a week!”

Me: “Okay, it’s very bent. Where has he been keeping it?”

Father: “Just in his pocket.”

This wouldn’t account for the damage, but I go with it. Honestly, it probably went through the dryer.

Me: “Okay, we do recommend keeping it in a cardholder or wallet so it won’t get damaged. This is quite badly bent, so that’s why it’s not working.”

Father: “He’s a kid; he doesn’t have a wallet!”

Me: “We do have cardholders for $2, sir.”

Father: “So we have to pay for that and a faulty card? That’s pretty bad service! Is the next card going to be faulty, too?”

Me: “If the next card is faulty, we have a thirty-day warranty and will issue a new one for free, so long as it’s not damaged. However, this card has been damaged, so you will need to pay for the replacement.”

Father: “We weren’t told that.”

Me: “You would have been told when you bought the card, and it’s in the terms and conditions that you signed.”

Father: “Well, nobody reads those!”

As much as I know that’s true, that’s not our fault. I don’t have much else I can say at this point, so I just give him a neutral look.

Father: “Well, that’s ridiculous!”

Me: *In the flattest, most expressionless voice I can muster* “I don’t make the rules, sir.”

He just stares, somewhat taken aback. Behind him, his wife snorts and, giggling, pokes him in the shoulder. When he looks at her, she’s giving him the most “I’m so sick of your bollocks” look I’ve ever seen.

Mother: “Just pay her, [Father]!”

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You Can’t Mask The Driver’s True Feelings

, , , , , | Right | July 20, 2021

Bus Driver: “You’ll need to pull your mask up.”

A passenger who just boarded has his mask around his chin.

Passenger: “No.”

He goes to pay his bus fare. The driver blocks the coin slot.

Bus Driver: “Then you can’t ride the bus.” 

This should not be news for anyone, as for several months now the bus company has had bulletins on the windows of every bus and train, and at each station, that this is now policy for the whole city-wide transit system.

Passenger: “What? That’s stupid. What does the mask even protect you from?”

Bus Driver: “It protects you from getting kicked off the bus. Mask up or get off.” 

The passenger swore at the bus driver and left.

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Seriously, Who Asks That?!

, , , , | Friendly | July 17, 2021

I am waiting at a bus station/park-and-ride a ways out in the county. It is winter and rather cold, so I’m bundled up in a very puffy, hooded coat, and I’m also wearing a black balaclava/ski mask-type of thing but with my nose and mouth uncovered.

As I settle in to wait for my connecting bus, a man gets off another bus. We are the only two on the platform. I am a woman and I’m 5’1”, and at my best estimate, this man is maybe 5’10” — tall enough to make me feel kind of small, but I’m aware my short height makes that easy to do.

The man mutters something I can’t quite make out.

Half Of My Brain #1: “Did he just say the word ‘terrorist’?”

Half Of My Brain #2: “Stop being paranoid. See, he’s going down to the other end of the platform.”

Nevertheless, I move to a bench that puts my back against the wall. I’ve always preferred that, anyway. I kid you not, twenty minutes later, the man comes back and walks straight up to me.

Man: “Are you a terrorist?”

I’m internally short-circuiting because who ASKS THAT?

Me: “What?”

Man: “Are you a terrorist?”

Me: “I don’t understand.”

Man: “Well, you look like one.”

Me: *As confused as possible* “What— How do I look like a terrorist?”

Man: “Never mind. Forget it.” *Walks off again*

My bus wasn’t for another twenty minutes! Luckily for me, another bus arrived about five minutes later. More people got off it and the man got on, leaving me with a much more relaxed wait for my bus. My best guess is that my balaclava looked like a headscarf of some sort. Headscarf on a woman equals Muslim, and Muslim equals terrorist, obviously. HORRIBLE man.

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Some People Will Make Ice Cream Out Of ANYTHING

, , , , , | Friendly | April 19, 2021

I am on a bus waiting to take me back to my cruise ship when a very sophisticated European lady sits down with an ice cream cone. A very southern lady from the USA is seated behind her.

American Lady: “That ice cream cone looks sooo good! What kind is it?

The European lady answers in a heavy accent.

European Lady: “Mango.”

The southern lady looks very shocked as she repeats what she thinks she heard.

American Lady: “Mountain goat?!”

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It’s A Bus STOP, Not A Bus Fly-By

, , , , | Working | April 14, 2021

I have a car but decided to try using the bus to be green. It’s a cold February and I’m sitting on the metal bench, waiting for my bus to come. Lots of buses fly by with “out of order” electric signs.

Finally, after an hour, I get tired and decide to call a taxi. Just then, a bus with an “out of order” sign stops, flings its doors open, and the driver says, “This is 2A.” My bus!

I start to get up, but to my horror, I’m literally frozen to the bench! My legs aren’t moving and I panic. I call out, “Wait!”

But he’s already closed the doors and is flying away. After a few tries, I get up and hobble around to warm up. I call a taxi to get home and decide to use my car from now on. At least I don’t have to worry about freezing to the seat! I don’t want to even think about how they treat disabled people who can’t walk fast.

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