Monday, August 22, 2011

Ticket Puncher Blues

This is the story of The Stupid Ticket Puncher Man On The Train And How He Tried To Ruin A Mini-Honeymoon.

Once there was a girl--let's call her Christina--who bought a 10 trip off-peak ticket online as she has been doing for the past several years. She purchased this ticket in June and used six of the ten trips.

This girl met a boy, fell in love, and married him. They went into the city for a mini-honeymoon. They traveled in style into the city via a limo.

To get home, they decided to take the train. Christina had brought her 10 trip off-peak ticket that she'd purchased online.

The two bedraggled, sopping wet lovebirds entered Penn Station, escaping from the monsoon that was bearing down on the city. They boarded a Long Beach line train, thankful that they could settle in without having to change at Jamaica.

The ticket taker man came during the first leg of the ride. They asked him to punch the ticket for two. He did. Then he asked when they'd bought the ticket.

"A few weeks ago," Christina stated.

"Are you sure?," the ticket man asked.

"Yes, online," answered Christina.

The big bad ticket man then stated that the ticket was expired. Christina asked if the rules had changed and how long the tickets are valid. The big bad ticket man said that the rules had changed but didn't answer the second part of the question. He handed the ticket back to the couple and said he'd let it slide this time.

Unsure of what he was letting slide since the ticket was completely valid, the two lovebirds cuddled up for the rest of the ride.

After Jamaica, Christina took out her ticket one more time and handed it to the big bad ticket taker. He looked at it and said with certainty this time, "This ticket is definitely expired. It says it right here it expired in June."

Now Christina knew what the problem was. The ticket puncher man thought that the date of purchase was the date of expiration. She kindly pointed out, "It's a web ticket. That's the date I bought it."

The ticket puncher asshole man said, "No, you bought this over a year ago. It's expired."

Christina responded, "Is it possible that the wrong date was written on it because I definitely did not buy it over a year ago."

The asshole responded, "It might be possible, but this is definitely over a year old."

Christina said, "No, it's not."

The asshole then wrote three times in big letters across the ticket EXPIRED and handed it back to the lovebirds.

The boy Christina married echoed that she'd purchased the ticket only a few weeks ago but then did not say any more because he did not want to end the mini-honeymoon in jail for punching out the asshole who was basically calling his new wife a liar.

At their last stop, the drunken man on the car with them explained that they were getting money in any way they could and it was nuts and he got a parking ticket too! The newlyweds oohed and awwwed for him and then quickly exited the train in the other direction.

When they arrived home, Christina looked up her account on the MTA website where she'd purchased the ticket. There was her receipt for the ticket purchased in June. She looked up the new rules and the ticket was valid for six months from the date of purchase. She wrote a very strong email to the MTA.

The next day, Christina saw an auto-response in her inbox that stated the MTA may take up to 15 days to respond. Not wanting to wait that long, Christina called the refund department and explained the situation.

The woman on the phone explained that the expiration date that appeared on the ticket was for the MetroCard on the back. Christina explained that the webticket doesn't offer an option to purchase the MetroCard because it gets punched through. The woman then explained that the expiration date that appeared on the ticket was for the MetroCard on the back.

(I didn't write that twice by accident. She seriously told me the same thing twice after I explained about not having that option).

Christina went to explain again but the woman said, "You're not understanding. The date on the ticket..."

But Christina did not let her finish. Christina said,"Yes, I understand. Let me ask you this. For how long is a ten-trip valid?"

The woman responded, "Six months from the date of purchase."

Christina replied, "I bought this ticket in June. It is now August. That's not six months."

A hush fell on the other end of the line.

Then the woman asked Christina to fax over a copy of the ticket. The next day, Christina faxed over a copy of the ticket along with a copy of the receipt and a recount of all the events.

She also received a response from the MTA in her inbox. That was quick!

Also, the woman called a few hours later saying, "Yes your ticket was valid."

And so, Christina made her way to the train station one day later to fill out a refund form.

Of course, that's not so simple either. The man at the window did not recognize the kind of ticket it was. Christina had to re-explain the entire story. Twice. Then she had to write the story on the form. Then the guy said to the other guy behind the counter, "I didn't know we still sold web tickets."

Christina said, "I think that's what the problem was from the beginning. The guy on the train didn't know how to read it right."

The guy behind the window didn't respond to that. He did, however, give Christina the receipt for the refund.

This story hasn't ended yet. It will end when a refund appears. Or when that idiot on the train receives a strong warning. Or a wrap in the head with a Nerf bat.


Majid Ali said...

Please help me for Christ sake

Christina said...

Um, do you mean for Christ's sake? Ooh, can you tell the school year is starting? I'm in correction mode. Anyway, you say in your profile you just started a blog, but the profile shows you started it in 2008. I think you're gonna be just fine.

Why am I getting all these comments lately? Seriously, Blogger, fix it!