Train employees are not known to be forgiving with unticketed passengers. Fares (or fines) increasing for passengers who try to buy their tickets while already onboard are devised with the express purpose of making sure that people are incentivized to pay their fares even if by some chance an employee doesn't have the chance to check their ticket. But according to Australian Facebook user Nicholas John, when one ticket-less passenger admitted his mistake this past week on a Opal train in New South Wales, the train employee checking didn't remonstrate him. Instead, she came to his defense.As described in a Facebook post by John, who says he was on the train during the incident, the interaction went like this:
The unnamed passenger in question handed the Opal employee a ticket he told her he got from a bus driver. When the passenger explained the supposed ticket's origin, it became clear to John (and, apparently, to other riders) that English is not his first language. The employee then explained that bus drivers can't give out train tickets, and that riding the train without a ticket is a $200 fine on the spot.
Though he looked genuinely sad that he made a mistake, the passenger was interrupted before he could apologize.
"Fine him," another rider told the employee. And then, directly to the man without a ticket: "Fuck off back to Iran, mate."
According to John, the man was Argentine.
"Lady's mood completely changes," John wrote. "She tells the man that it's cool, he obviously didn't understand, and prints him a pass that he can use for the rest of the day on NSW trains, and then she apologises to him for 'the way that SOME Australians think it's OK to speak to people.'"
You can read what happens next in John's Facebook post:
Although news organizations have not yet verified John's post, it has since gone viral with 7,000 likes and more than 1,000 shares, with social media users cheering on the train employee's reported decision to bend company policy on the behalf of the maligned passenger. Public transportation is not a place for xenophobia, and the post makes that abundantly clear.
Cover photo: Shutterstock / AzmanMD
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