Dear Urban Diplomat: am I a jerk for skipping the TTC farebox line?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I was in the Queen subway station recently and encountered a long lineup, so I did that move where you sneak past people mumbling “Sorry” and dump your fare into the can. One guy yelled, “Oh, only you have places to go?” and I got the stink eye from someone else. What am I supposed to do—wait interminably as trains pass by?
—Line Dancer, North York
The only thing you did wrong was apologize. Queuing is for those who need assistance from the attendant. All you needed was a split-second of his or her attention, but not so much as to delay the distribution of change, Metropasses, tokens or directions to the CN Tower. Blame rests squarely with the TTC and its prehistoric technology. The way I see it, you have two choices next time you’re contemplating the TTC sneak: do exactly as you did before, replacing the mumbled apology with a confident “Excuse me” while taking care to avoid elbowing or bumping anyone. Or, if you really can’t stand the glaring, stock up on tokens when you’re not in a rush and deposit one in the automatic turnstile. It’ll spare you significant TTC-related grief, of which there’s already a surplus.
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