Toll booth workers are interesting.  Taking the toll road this week for work I encountered toll booth workers at the exit I use to return home.  There are no toll booth workers though at the exit I use to get to my office.  It is all automated.  I hate automation.  It is just no fun.  There is no dialogue.  Nothing to momentarily interject the human variable into the day.  It's .80 cents one direction on the toll road (or turnpike depending on what part of the country you are from), and another.80 cents for the trip back.  That's $1.60 for the privilege of going 75-80 mph (ok it's actually 70, but I speed).  I feel like I am not getting my money's worth this week though.  There are orange cones and road construction in both the eastbound and westbound lanes.  Traffic is one lane both directions and speeds are prohibited over 45 mph.  I want my money back.  If I wanted to go that slow and be impeded by those that follow the letter of the law instead of the spirit of it, I could take city streets.  Invariably I get behind someone at the automated booth who doesn't have a clue how to feed their ticket in, how to maneuver the money, or is experiencing a machine malfunction.  Human ticket booth workers are way faster than that blasted machine.  The lady in the booth at my home exit has recognized me from day to day.  I must say, I kind of like that.  She asked how my day was compared to yesterday when I saw her.  She comments on the wind.  She is congenial and engaging without holding up the line.  I like her.  For her I am willing to pay $1.60 even if I can't go 75-80 mph.   Exiting one exit further than my normal exit, I fed my ticket in and waited for it to process.  The LED screen flashed my fee.  I methodically fed in $1.10 using a dollar bill and a dime.  It read the dollar bill, but the dime did not seem to register, like it was stuck.  There was no human anywhere near to correct the machine malfunction.  Do I push the help button and hope someone might help me get back the dime I just lost, or try another dime?  I am in a hurry.  I didn't push the HELP button.  Instead I shoved in another dime.  The dime didn't register once again and the bar would not raise.  One more try with a third dime found me in the same position - unable to leave the toll booth.  I pushed the HELP button and heard, "All circuits are busy, please hold."  All this for .30 cents!  I got impatient (obvious as I drive over the speed limit!) and shoved another dollar bill in the feeder.  It read the dollar and refunded me .90 cents just as an operator came on the line.  I told her the situation, losing .30 cents and asked her if she could refund it to me.  "I cannot do that." she said, "Please call the number printed on your receipt and ask for a refund."  I hate automation.  I hate how correcting a simple mechanical error will now take me a phone call and the cost of a check being cut for .30 cents.  That seems like excessive waste both in time and dollars.  They know that most people will not bother with such a small refund request.  How much extra revenue do they earn yearly from NOT processing money correctly and consumers not pursuing a refund for overpayment.  I would most likely be one of those people that contributes to this non-earned revenue fund!

1 comment:

  1. Get with the times my friend...get a stinking I zoom!