The Asshole and the Conductor
The recent hoo-ha over United Airlines having a passenger thrown off the plane reminded me of a situation commuting on a New Jersey Transit train.
Years ago, New Jersey Transit had a fare schedule where if you bought a round trip ticket off-hours, there was a significant discount. If you didn’t use the ticket both ways in off-hours, you were then charged the full rate.
It was very common for people to buy the round trip, go to the city during off-hours and return during peak-hours. The conductor charged them the difference and they were always surprised and upset because they didn’t understand the rate. They often complained to and fought with the conductor. They always lost.
One Friday night, these things always occurred on a Friday night, a passenger on the way home was informed he would have to pay an additional $3.75. He refused. The conductor explained the situation one time and warned him that if he did not pay the additional $3.75, he would not be allowed off the train. He refused.
When the train pulled into the next station, the doors did not open. We were informed that we would stay in the station until the transit police arrived to take the delinquent passenger away. We sat for fifteen minutes waiting for the police to arrive, they were about forty minutes away, and everyone started getting a bit peeved.
Other passengers offered to pay the $3.75 just so we could move on. The conductor refused. The delinquent passenger started to freak out and was screaming, “I’ll pay, I’ll pay.” The conductor ignored him.
We waited at the station for forty-five minutes before the Transit Police came and dragged this ass-hole away screaming, “I’ll pay, I’ll pay.”
The conductor won this battle. On a train, the conductor has the power to enforce transit rules. Not obeying a conductor on a train is like attacking a police officer on the street. They have power, and sometimes it goes to their head.
On this Friday night I was late for a dinner reservation and my (ex) wife was pissed (we had no cell phone in those days). Her rage was not tempered by my valid excuse…it never was.
Because this one a-hole did not understand the fare rules and refused to pay $3.75, and because the conductor could think of no other way to handle the situation, our train was delayed forty-five minutes, and every train that left behind us was delayed almost as long. Almost one thousand people had their Friday night plans disrupted because of an ass-hole passenger and a conductor on a power trip.
I didn’t care about all those one thousand people, I only cared about the new butt hole I was ripped…again.
I actually think I'm with the conductor on this one. Except you gut should have take your frustration out like the passengers on the comedy Airplane.ReplyDelete
This would have definitely "pissed" me off. I would have offered to pay the money myself just to get off the train. It would not have pleased me that the conductor was not willing to consider any such thing like this and basically held the whole train hostage. There may have been a letter I would have written to voice my complaint to those higher up in the hierachy.ReplyDelete
I think I'd be miffed if I had to wait for for two guys to play their little gameReplyDelete
It's the domino effect.ReplyDelete
Your ticket rules are similar to ours, what's so hard that people don't understand them? surely people can't be...sigh, yes they can.
I've got some sympathy with the conductor but then, I wasn't on that train ;-)ReplyDelete
You mean to tell me no one could get off the train? I find that absolutely asinine for a 'crime' of a few dollars.ReplyDelete
Yes! Plus all the trains behind us had to wait.Delete
It often seems that everyone gets punished because of the actions of a few.ReplyDelete
Everyone does get punished because of the asshole. There are too many assholes anymore. I would not have been happy either.ReplyDelete
Have a fabulous day. ☺
I'm kind of on the conductors side this time Joeh...sorry about that....I'm willing to bet that particular customer and everyone else on that car learned a serious lesson that day. It doesn't seem fair that others have to share a punishment but sometimes that is the very best way to teach the lesson. If that conductor had backed down his authority would have been in question from that day forward. Again, sorry to disagree with you but there it is....freedom of speech lol.ReplyDelete
He could have refused that jerk but let others off the train, and taken him all the way to Trenton, or waited until he got his identification and had a summons issued later or crap anything! Plus he could have handled it with a bit more diplomaacy and avoided the confrontation altogether. I understand your point, and you are welcome to it, but the problem is these conductors and sometimes flight attendants are given power, but they are not well trained on how and when to use it. These conductors are not brain surgeons. Some are nice people, they are reasonably intelligent, but they have no training commensurate with the power they are given on the trainDelete
I agree completely!!Delete
I was with the conductor till it turned out he didn't have a quick solution. There were other options but it got to be a peeing contest.Sorry about that.ReplyDelete
The train management should have had a better solution for rule breakers, holding up the train for one person is ridiculous.ReplyDelete
Well...after teaching for 28 years, I am familiar with the concept of the many suffering for the actions of the one. Not that I agree with it, of course. Policy is policy.ReplyDelete
It's bad enough he wouldn't pay, it's worse the conductor decided to handle it this way.ReplyDelete
I agree with him not being allowed off the train, I agree he needed to spend some time "visiting" with transit police, and I agree with him getting home about 8 hours late. But I do NOT agree with holding the entire train hostage. Seems to me you were all being "held against your will" and might have had some legal recourse, or at least some compensation.ReplyDelete
i think conductor would have thought another way to stop him only not all the others because of him .they both were......ReplyDelete
when i was married newly in early nineties we too had no cell phone there and had often fights when hubby was out and quite late for home .technology helped alot [may be]
All this for $3.75? I think even Walmart has a rule about not pursuing shoplifters if you steal something below a certain value (like $10 or $5...can't remember).ReplyDelete