Providing A Good(s) Service

, , , | Right | June 7, 2017

(I’m on a bus. It’s quiet early in the morning and raining quite hard. It’s not a nice day. A young man walks onto the bus via the second set of doors and sits down without paying. He is wearing headphones. The bus driver has noticed.)

Driver: *in Eastern European accent* “You have to buy a ticket.”

(The man does not move, but smirks a little.)

Driver: “This bus goes nowhere until you buy ticket.”

(Again the man ignores the driver, smirking. This goes on for about two more minutes until the bus driver gets fed up. He gets out of his cab and walks towards the man. At this point, you realise the bus driver is 6’6” and built like a brick outhouse — not someone you would want to mess with. He looms over the man, who is now looking at his phone intensely, ignoring the driver.)

Driver: “These people are busy. I don’t have time to deal with you. Ticket. Now.”

(The man still ignores the driver, so the driver reaches out and takes the wireless headphones off the man.)

Passenger: “Hey!”

Driver: “Where I come from, people who cannot afford to pay for services pay with goods. This is your ticket now.”

(The driver went and sat back down in his cab, taking the headphones with him. The young man looked sheepish and got up to retrieve his headphones and pay for a ticket, but was instead thrown off the bus for “Being a poor example of mankind” by the driver who got applause for not taking any s***. The man did get his headphones back.)

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When She Gets Home She Will Reign Down On You

, , , , | Related | June 6, 2017

(The summer of 2013 was pretty tough on my family. My dad lost his job and was unemployed for three months (April through July), and when I graduated college in May, I had nothing lined up. I had to apply anywhere I could get some work; this ended up being the local burrito place. Dad no longer had a vehicle as his transport had been the company vehicle, and I had no car of my own, so we were heavily dependent on public transportation. Sometimes my dad would walk up to the nearby bus stop to meet me so he could get some exercise. One afternoon, I called him as I left the shop.)

Me: “Hey, Dad, you walking up to meet me today?”

Dad: “You’re a big girl, honey; I think you can manage it yourself for this time.”

Me: *rolling my eyes but not letting it come through in my voice* “Okay, then I’ll see you at home in about 90 minutes.”

(The bus ride was uneventful, but as we drove, I began to notice the sky getting more and more gray. No worries, I thought, surely I would beat the storm home. I got off the bus at the closest stop to my house (about 30 minutes by foot) — and within five minutes, the sky opened up. My purse wasn’t large enough to carry an umbrella, so I trudged home with the rain soaking me to the skin. When I got home, my father at least had the decency to look ashamed of himself.)

A Kiss Can Take You To Many Places

, , | Friendly | June 2, 2017

(A couple of years ago, when I am around 21, I am working at the company that provides public transportation (buses and trains) in my region. I work at the office. My dad is a bus driver for the same company. One of the perks of working there is that we can travel for free on our buses and trains. One day, it just happens that my dad is the driver of the bus I’m taking. I get on, give him a quick kiss on the cheek, and sit down behind him. The middle aged man behind me gets on, looks at my dad, confused, and asks:)

Passenger: “Do we all have to do this to travel for free or can I just pay for my ticket?”

(My dad and I burst out laughing and explained that I was in fact his daughter, but the look on his face was just priceless. Still makes me giggle years later.)

Wasn’t Done In A New York Minute

, , , , | Right | May 29, 2017

(I work at a very large church in NYC that’s also a popular tourist destination. We’re known not just for our grandeur, but also our programming, both liturgical and secular, which brings a lot of people through our doors. I work in the gift shop, which is also something of a reception area. In the middle of a busy day, I get this phone call.)

Me: “[My Church] Visitors Center. This is [My Name].”

Caller: “Hi, there’s an organ concert happening at [Church on the other side of town] next week and I’m coming into Penn Station to hear it.”

(Please note, we have organ concerts, as well, so I’m thinking this has something to do with our organist.)

Caller: “How do I get there?”

Me: “From [My Church]?”

Caller: “No! From Penn Station! Can I walk to Madison Avenue and then take the Madison Avenue local?”

Me: “Walk to Madison Avenue from Penn Station? It’s kind of far.”

Caller: “But can I walk it?”

Me: “I suppose you could walk the entire way if you wanted to.”

Caller: “But I want to walk to Madison Avenue and then take the local up!”

Me: “This isn’t [Church across town]. This is [My Church].”

Caller: “I know! But no one was picking up over there!”

Me: “I can try to help get you directions, but we’re not affiliated with that church, so I’m not familiar with where it is.”

Caller: “I know you’re not! I’m just trying to find out if I can walk to Madison Avenue and take the Madison Avenue local up!”

Me: “To get across town your best bet is to take the shuttle at Times Square.”

Caller: “I don’t want to take a shuttle! What subway should I take!”

Me: “The shuttle is the subway you should take. It runs from Times Square to Grand Central and back.”

(This goes on for far longer than you’d think it should, after I’ve given him explicit subway instructions with him questioning me at every direction. He doesn’t believe me that there’s no subway line on Madison Avenue. He doesn’t believe me that the closest subway stop is four blocks and two avenues from the church, and he’s getting increasingly frustrated that I don’t know the exact address and location of a church I don’t work for. My line is growing and my colleague — who is not required to answer phones, by the way — offers to take the call so I can get back to our visitors.)

Me: “I’m going to pass you on to my colleague, because I have a line of customers here who need help, but she will help you find the best way to get there.”

Caller: “Customers? What’s going on there? Is there an event?”

Me: “No, no event today.”

Caller: “Then what customers do you have?”

Me: “We have tourists visiting here every day.”

Caller: “Is this the gift shop?!”

Me: “Yes. I’m passing you on to my colleague now.”

(She takes the phone while I apologize to our paying customers. I can overhear her telling him basically the same things I said and apparently getting the same backlash. Ultimately I hear her say, “We don’t work for the MTA or that church, but the MTA’s website has a function to help you find the best route,” and shortly after that the call is over and my line has died down.)

Me: “What did he say when you told him you don’t work for the MTA?”

Colleague: “He said, ‘But you’re New Yorkers!’”

Justice On Patrol

| Salt Lake, UT, USA | Friendly | May 17, 2017

(Working nights usually has its perks, with the chief among them being I get to avoid dealing with the general public. It’s not that I’m anti-social or anything, but just that I don’t really deal with people well in person. I avoid crowds, and so on. The only real drawback of where I work is that on some days (night for me) I’m exhausted when I get off duty. Also, like most of the people I work with, I carry a backpack. About halfway home, I’m dozing in the back of the train, when the thing starts to slow. Bleary eyed and half awake, I blink, yawn, and look around. I take note of two young ladies who are looking my way and talking in somewhat hushed tones.)

Passenger #1: “Oh, this is going to be fun to watch. It’s a ticket check. Watch that bum.” *pointing to me*

Passenger #2: *pulling out her phone* “I’m going to upload this on [Website]. It’s so sick. I mean his kind shouldn’t even be allowed to be on the streets.”

Passenger #1: “Well, they’re going to get him.”

(The train stops, doors open, and the officers start making the rounds. I lift up my ID badge, flip it over to show my ticket and smile.)

Me: “Hey, [Cop]. How’s the shift going?”

Cop: “Slow. You just getting off?”

(I nod at this and yawn before shrugging.)

Me: “What was your first clue? Me half asleep or the constant yawns?”

(The cop laughs at this and starts to head off, only to have Passenger #2 call him back.)

Passenger #2: “Hey, do the job we f****** pay you for! Get that bum off OUR train!”

Passenger #1: “Yeah, he didn’t pay when he got on.”

(The cop looks back at me, then back over to the girls.)

Cop: “I don’t need to check his ticket.”

Passenger #1: *stands up at this point and starts to get loud* “Don’t need to check his ticket?! Like h*** you don’t! What’s your name, and where’s your supervisor!? I want to file a complaint!”

Cop: “My name is [Cop] and my supervisor is over there.” *pointing at me*

(The girls looked my way, blinked a few times and then stared. I gave a rather wide yawn before smiling at the girls and then getting comfortable again. The rest of the ride home, they kept shooting me rather nervous glances, and kept their mouths shut. I guess they didn’t notice the fact that I was wearing the same uniform as the patrol officers.)

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