Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dear Toll Booth Collector

Dear Chicopee Toll Booth Collector,
I usually keep quite a bit of change in my car in order to pay the $1.50 in tolls that I incur each way daily traveling the Massachusetts Turnpike. Today I unexpectedly needed to take my wife's car to work. While approaching the tollbooth exit on my way home, I realized that I had no bills in my wallet and there was only $1.35 in change in her ashtray. $.15 short.

Now, I've been driving the Pike every week day for the past 13 months. Off the top of my head, that amounts to around $840. I'd say I've seen you at least twice a week over that time period. So again, off the top of my head, I'd say that you personally have collected no less than $168.25 from me. The extra $.25 includes the quarter that you shorted me in change two months ago.

So what happens when I drive up to the tollbooth and tell you that I'm short $.15? (By the way, that's 10% short of the required toll... .00054% of the total amount that I've spent driving to work over the past 13 months.)

You cop an attitude and tell me, "You know... this isn't MY money."


Thank you... I wasn't aware.

Believe me, it wasn't my intention to short the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, and by extension, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, its $.15.

I don't require much of the people to whom I give money for the pleasure of driving a poorly maintained stretch of highway. But I have noticed that not once... once... have you ever managed anything approaching a smile or even civility when taking my money, unlike the majority of the people with whom you work. You should really work on that. I made a simple mistake that, at the end of the day, didn't cause anyone to die in a fiery wreck or lose their sight or even require a band-aid. I hope you can forgive me and we can go back to our previous relationship of blank stares and outstretched hands.

I once watched a comedy sketch on The Upright Citizens Brigade about a businessman that was able to maintain a sense of confidence and superiority with anyone he'd deal with through the concept of what he termed, "Ass Pennies". See, what he did was stick $30 in pennies a day into his rectum for 11 years, and then spend the pennies. His theory was that the person who intimidated him most likely has his ass pennies in their pocket.

Google it... I'm sure it's on YouTube. It's hilarious. Unless you handle change all day. Then... probably not so much. Not that I would ever do that. It seems a little extreme. But this is Massachusetts and there are some weirdos that live here. Just something to think about.

So, even though I figure you're still $.10 ahead of me from that quarter, here's your $.15. I apologize again for the oversight. It won't happen again.

1 comment:

jojo said...

OH MY you are too funny. there's NOT a video like that, is there? We have sunpass down here. I LOVE IT. i can't tell you how many times in the past i've done that same, oops, i'm short...digging around for the money in between the seats with those behind me honking and getting nasty. did i mention i love my sunpass? Can't Boston start something like that?