The Time When Actually Having ID Gets You Into Trouble

, , , | Right | August 5, 2021

I am a UK expat living in Gothenburg, a cosy town on the West Coast of Sweden. I get a job in “Biljettkontroll,” which roughly translates to a ticket inspector in English. We basically board the town busses and trams and make sure all aboard are paying for their transport. The penalty for not having a valid ticket is rated at 1500kr, which is roughly £130. We are all dressed in work uniforms, so it’s hard not to spot us. My team and I board a tram, and I make my way to a younger chap who’s on his phone.

Me: “Hi, can I see your ticket, please?”

Young Passenger: *In an English accent* “Oh… yeah, hello! I’m going to [Town Destination], please.”

This is a very common tactic most people try to employ: feigning being a tourist or unfamiliar with the rules in order to get out of a penalty. He’s not faking his accent, but straight away I know something’s not quite right with his routine. We go back and forth for a bit, and he says he’s “in town to see his friends.” I point to his phone wallet.

Me: “Okay, so what’s that?”

I pointed at his Swedish identification card, which he would not have had if he was “in town to see his friends.” He sighed and I issued him a penalty fee. If you’re going to lie, at least make some effort to make it believable.

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Refusing To Validate Their Excuse

, , , , | Right | July 15, 2021

In London, you have one card that can be used on public transport within the London area, regardless of kind of transport.

On the bus I take each morning are two young women who are clearly used to getting their way. They hug four seats and nurse hot drinks — open drink containers are not allowed — each day. They also have distinct English accents. Although in principle, passengers are required to show proof of payment, most people just get on the bus.

This morning is a bit different, as a control unit boards the bus. They close exits and check if you’ve paid your fare.

Controller: *In Dutch* “Tickets, please.”

Woman #1: *Looking very innocent* “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had to pay for the bus in Belgium. Where I come from, you don’t need to.”

Me: “Strange. I’m pretty sure that last month in London, I had to pay for the bus.”

Woman #1: *Throwing me a look to shut me up* “Well, we only have tickets for the subway.”

Yes, she did have a ticket she had to validate upon boarding, valid for ten fares.

Controller: *In English* “It is the same ticket for the subway and the bus.”

Woman #2: “Oh, I’m sorry, we didn’t know. It is different in London. We will use it next time.”

Me: “Hmm. I’m pretty sure that I used the same ticket on the bus as well as on the subway in London.”

Both women glare at me, sending a clear message to butt out. I just smile, friendly.

Woman #1: “We are just here for a month and these tickets are expensive.”

Controller: “You can take a season ticket for a month and take as many trips as you like.”

Sadly, the controller let it slide this time and didn’t make them validate the ticket, either, as I’ve seen on other checks. On the plus side, I didn’t see them on this particular ride anymore.

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Reasons Why Small Print Is A Million Pages Long

, , , | Right | June 24, 2021

I am a railroad worker. I get a call on the radio from a train that just passed by, saying they almost hit a guy and asking me to talk to him about safety on the tracks.

I go talk to him.

Guy: “If you don’t want people riding their bicycles down the middle of the tracks, then you should put up a sign!”

Some people’s kids.

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Yellow Line Makes Him Redline

, , , | Right | May 23, 2021

I am at a train station trying to get home from school. A tech issue has arisen and the trains on my line are delayed by quite a bit. There are many people on my platform and lots of them are standing over the yellow line at the edge of the platform.

Loudspeaker: “For your own safety, please step back over the yellow line.”

Only a few people move back. This repeats twice more, and everyone is now back over the line, except one middle-aged man whose bag even sticks out over the tracks.

Worker From Another Platform: “Hey, sir?! Can you please step back over the line? It’s for your own safety.”

Man: “WHY DON’T YOU JUST WORRY ABOUT THE F****** TRAINS, INSTEAD?!”

We were all horrified by this because the train was coming and if he didn’t move, it would hit him. He thankfully moved, just in time. Everyone near him pushed past him to get on and he was left standing the whole trip to the other end of the line. It had me chuckling the whole way home.

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The Problem With Public Transport Is The Public

, , , , , | Friendly | May 10, 2021

It’s a few days before lockdown in the UK, very early in the morning. Panic buying has cleaned a lot of the shelves during the day, so I have decided to try and get to the shop as early as possible to give myself a sporting chance of getting something to eat. So, instead of my usual Saturday lie-in, I’m out the door just after six, feeling very tired and grumpy.

There’s a couple already on the bus arguing away. After a bit, the man storms to the front and sits down, but they continue to argue loudly. I put up with it for a few minutes, but there is only so much I can take.

Me: “Will you please both be quiet?!”

Man: “It’s none of your business!”

Me: “You’re absolutely right, but I can hear everything you’re saying!”

They continue but a bit quieter. After a minute, the woman moves and sits down next to the man, and they argue even more.

The bus is running ahead of schedule, so it waits at one of the stops for a few minutes. By now, the volume has increased to the point that I shout:

Me: “GUYS, PLEASE!”

The driver gets up.

Bus Driver: “I’ve had enough of the both of you. If you don’t shut up, you’ll be thrown off the bus.”

They do shut up at this. The woman mouths to me that she is sorry; the man just looks sullen. The journey continues, this time in blissful silence.

A stop or two later, they quietly leave, at least until the door closes. The argument resumes, but at least it is out of earshot. At my stop, I speak to the driver.

Me: “Thank you for getting them to shut up.”

Bus Driver: “Yeah, I was getting fed up with them, too.”

Me: “Can you imagine what it would be like if they were quarantined together? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, by the end of the year, I saw either one of their photos in the news about how they were serving life for murder!”

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