I was in a terrible hurry, running late for a business meeting in Philadelphia. I’d spent more than $100 for my train ticket from a vending machine at New York’s Penn Station — but in my haste had grabbed only the receipt, which I now presented to the conductor.
“You need the ticket,” he said.
I apologized and explained that the receipt was all I had.
“The rules are the rules,” said the conductor. “Either you pay the fare or you leave the train.”
I’m constitutionally opposed to following rules for their own sake; plus, this man was treating me rudely. But I’m not confrontational, so I wasn’t going to let my annoyance show. Instead, in my most neutral voice, I asked a question (like many introverts, I’m forever asking questions): “Is there any way you could bend the rules just this once?”
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