Tuesday, March 03, 2009

False Analogies

Today was my first day commuting in March. However, I had forgotten to put my monthly pass in my wallet. Not the first time I have done this, but this experience was a first.

I showed the conductor last month's pass and told him I had forgotten to put this month's pass in my wallet and that I would have the pass tomorrow. He informed me that there was a spotter on the train and that he (the spotter) would give him (the conductor) a hard time if he (the conductor) didn't charge me.

I replied that I spent $250 per month to ride the train with lousy service and I wasn't paying extra because I forgot my pass one day. I would have the pass tomorrow and would gladly show it to whomever.

He replied that my not having my pass was the same as me showing up at the grocery store without money and expecting them to give me my groceries and then walked away.

When I show him my pass tomorrow, I will attempt to explain to him that his analogy is flawed. My not having my *MONTHLY* pass is more like me forgetting to pay my cable bill on-time and the cable company's first response would be to cancel my service at midnight on
the first of the month.

1 comment:

bunny said...

First of all, the Charlie Card reminds me of my dad & his Kingston Trio albums. Nice memories.

Secondly, back when I lived in a small town, I once forgot my checkbook at the tiny local grocery store the day before Easter. I had a cart full of food for Easter Sunday, and while checking out, realized I didn't have even a single check. No cash, either, and they didn't accept ATM or credit cards.

By the time I could have driven home and back, the store would have been closed, but that's what happens when we forget things, and I was resigned. I told the clerk that I was sorry, but that I just realized I'd left my checkbook at home & would have to leave my cart for restocking.

The store owner overheard (he was bagging at the next checkout) and told me to go ahead on home with my purchase, and bring the check in when I could.

Monday morning bright and early, there I was with a check in hand, and everything was good. As I was handing over the check, I realized he hadn't asked my name, or to sign an IOU, though I'm sure he must've known me from previous visits.

In private industry, service & trust matter to both sides.

In the public sector, not so much.