“Excuse me, if you don’t mind me asking, are you going to use your transfer later tonight?” the guy with tight jeans asked as he held onto the pole on the 14. He looked at us innocently.
I stared at him with growing reluctance, but we gave him the transfer anyway. Then I whispered, “why does he need a transfer if he got on the bus.”
“Maybe it’s for a friend at the next stop.”
But the thing was…it was a simple innocous question from someone who almost seemed trustworthy.
I remember a time I was walking to the grocery store. A pair of girls stopped us and asked us for change for the pay phone. They said they needed to make a call. Without thinking, I just gave them the change and saw them walk right past the pay phone.
Am I pansy? Can I not see through deception? Do I have trouble seeing past face value?
How do we say no to something we almost find fundamentally wrong? We were going to toss the transfer into the trash the moment we got off the bus. We weren’t going to use it. But it was so easy. A fellow person asks you for a simple favor. The time. Pick up that piece of paper for me. And suddenly, you can’t help but say yes.
I am a pansy as would the author of Influence say.
And about two days later as we were standing on Market waiting for the F line, a guy with a scruffy beard showed us the transfers he had and said, “Want one?”
We looked at him in confusion as he pushed one into our hands. “It’s a dollar,” he added.