“Crap!” I said under my breath while on the NJ Transit train to work as I looked for my wallet in my over-sized purse. It wasn’t there. The male attendant walked by me and saw I was frantically looking for my elusive train ticket. He said, “It’s okay,” and walked away, figuring I probably had it but couldn’t find it. Success!
Trying to be savvy, I asked my husband to take a picture of my monthly January pass and license since he was working from home that day. I didn’t even think about getting a new ticket for my trip home because I figured the picture would be enough–plus, I noticed people were starting to show some type of e-ticket on their phones these days.
Even though I was penniless that day, I was set. I had breakfast in my bag already and luckily my office ordered lunch for everyone. When I returned home that evening, I was keeping my fingers crossed that the ticket attendant was a man.
I strained my neck to see who was checking tickets. It was a woman. I was doomed.
“What’s this?” the tall woman asked in an annoyed voice while staring at my iPhone screen in disgust.
“I left my wallet at home so my husband sent me a picture of my ticket to prove I have a monthly.”
“You need a TICKET to ride the train. I can’t accept this.”
“Well how am I supposed to buy a ticket without any money? Do you expect me to beg on the street instead of go to work?!” I asked.
“Go to customer service next time!” She walked away in a huff.
I responded pitifully, “I’m a new mom…” and sighed.
The man sitting next to me (who looked a little drunk) turned to me and said, “She should have given you a break. What’s wrong with these people?”
To prove a point (to myself), the next day I went to customer service. A NJ transit conductor asked me if I needed help, so I told him my story. He responded: “I’m sorry she was so rude. If you were on my train I wouldn’t have done that. No, customer service can’t do anything for you. Next time, just let the conductor know in the front of the train before getting on. They’ll understand.”
So January was a rough #newworkingmom month for me. My daughter got ear and bronchial infections, daycare was canceled a few times because of the snow, and my job was relentlessly busy–losing my wallet was the last straw. At least I wasn’t the real-life movie sequel to “Throw Momma from the Train!”