“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.
That’s the thing isn’t it? SOmetimes I don’t mind passing on my bus ticket if it’s still got time that I’m not going to use on it, but only to SAVE somoene money, not for them to make money out of it.
You wouldn’t buy it off them, that’s the day you get caught for it…
i had a friend in seattle who would collect transfers from people. not sure if they still do this, but at the time the transfer’s validity was based on its color (changed each day) and the time window indicated on it. so over time my friend amassed a wad of transfers that covered just about every possible day/time. maybe not the most honest way of treating the public transit system, but she was on a pretty tight budget. here in chicago it’s mostly electronic, so you have something like a 2 hour window to switch trains/buses up to 2 times, and there’s no paper artifact.
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