Who Is In Charge?

Two days ago, I was enjoying my train commute home. My eyes were closed but my mind knew the stops.

Three stops prior to mine, the train hesitated for much longer than normal. I hoped an accident or someone who decided to commit suicide, wasn’t the cause.

Fear not, you emerged, an elderly lady with a pink stocking cap and a basket. You entered the car.

You had your fare.
You paid your fare.
You get to ride.

The conductor was annoyed when you departed. He barked out orders to walk around you, as if you were an object.

I was ill yesterday so I do not know what happened.

Tonight, I am following my train routine. The train stops three stops prior to mine. The train hesitated much longer than normal. You entered with your pink stocking cap and basket. Deja Vu, but this time, not so much.

This time, the conductor was not as patient. He yelled at you for making the train late for “this” as he pointed to your basket.

You responded by telling him to shut up.

You had your fare.
You paid your fare.
You get to ride.

As he reached the door, he decided he wasn’t going to take your words. He stomped his feet and screamed so that everyone in the car paid attention.

“I am in charge. You are not. You do not talk to me like that.”

You laughed in his face and told him that he would have to scream louder hecause you are deaf. He stormed off in a huff.

You had your fare.
You paid your fare.
You get to ride.

I don’t condone mean words, but yours were reactive. I don’t know your situation. I don’t know his. I also don’t believe that the customer is always right. In this case, you seemed to be right.

You had the fare.
You paid the fare.
You get to ride.

To the conductor, who is in charge? She pays your salary and so do I as long as we can afford to ride. We are, if we are not abusive. You are not allowed to be rude to her for taking precious time loading her basket. I hope you are never in her shoes. You will break your ankles under the weight of your arrogance.

6 thoughts on “Who Is In Charge?

  1. If he’s that concerned about the train running to time, he should offer to help her.

    Ultimately, there’s no one here on this planet who is in charge anyway. The idea that we are in charge of anything is one of those myths that we cling onto to help keep us sane.

    (I’m feeling somewhat “meh” today, not entirely sure why.)

    • I thought about what you wrote, all day. You have a point. I saw or perhaps perceived bullying actions by the conductor. When his rudeness happened the first time, my inclination was to help or ask why he wasn’t helping. I don’t know if there is any backstory as it is a different train, car, and time for me. I only know what I saw. It looked and sounded like bullying.

      By in charge, I meant that we pay his salary. In the unlikely event everyone stops taking the train, he will be unemployed. We vote with our dollars. I’m still thinking about the next time and what I might do. I really don’t want to encounter a next time.

      Thank you Faith.

  2. We don’t all move at the same pace or have the same capabilities. If she paid her fare and was moving she was doing what she could do. His demeanor, we don’t know why, seems out of place. I like that she laughed. That was her ability, her control, that he seemed to lack for some reason.

    • So true. She did pay. Ironically, a rider on the same ride, didn’t. The rider rode free for three stops. Conductors have discretion. This was a different one. I wonder what the screamer would have done. The rider was visually intimidating. He was also polite and borderline charming.

      I agree with you. We don’t move at the same pace. I don’t move at the same pace that I did twenty years ago. My mantra when walking is, “1J1, keep right because someone will always be faster.”

      She took control. He lacked control.

      Thank you for your comment CM.

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