Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Fare Box Flub

I've never really considered that people from out of town would have this problem, but here's a story from Kevin about trying to navigate the whatchamacallit thing that you put your change into:
I had just moved to Winnipeg and it was my first time taking the bus since I was a kid in Brandon, so I enlisted in the help of my friends to help me understand the rules of taking the bus and the etiquette that was expected.

"Do you still need to have exact change?" was one of my questions. "Do you have to hand the bus driver your money, or do they still have those tall cylindrical-type things that you put your money into?" "The fare box," they said, "Yeah, they still have those. Just put your money right in."

The next day I stood waiting for the bus with $1.65 in exact change in my hand. The bus arrived at my stop, the doors opened and I stepped inside. I said hello to the driver and my eyes quickly darted around, looking for where to put my money. I saw the fare box, the tall cylindrical object that holds the money, and I proceeded to dump my coins into it.

The money didn't all go in. I was able to push the dimes through the little hole at the top with my fingers, but for some reason the quarters weren't going in. Instead, they were resting on the top cover. I started to panic. I tried again to jam the quarters into the fare box with my fingers, but it was still of no use. At this point, the bus driver turned to me.

"Hey, that's my coffee!" he said. It was then that I realized what I thought was the fare box was in fact the bus driver's coffee in a tall metal thermos, and I had just thrown a bunch of loose change into it. The actual fare box, a large metal and glass container, was just a few inches from the coffee. "Y'know, I don't take tips," the driver said.

The driver could tell I was obviously flustered and simply said “Don’t worry about it.” I scooped up my money, minus the dimes that were now swimming around in the bus driver's coffee, and dumped it into the fare box (the real one this time). I quickly and quietly apologized to him, asked for my transfer, and embarassingly took my seat.

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