Thursday, January 22, 2009

When it Rains it Pours

Ok this post isn't about Aikido or the comic. I just had one long night where I almost didn't make it back home and felt like posting about it. First off let me say I live just across the water from Seattle in a little town called Bremerton. Taking the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle is free, but it costs almost 7 bucks to take the ferry from Seattle back to Bremerton. Well I forgot to take my debit card with me when I went in to Seattle tonight. I had it out of my wallet and just forgot to put it back in. When I got to the terminal I felt a little embarrassed and asked the teller if I could pay with a check. She said of course as long as it's a state check. I just had starter checks but the bank address (in Washington) was printed on it and the teller said that'd be fine as long as I had my license...which I did. Unfortunately I haven't gotten a Washington state license yet so the teller said they just couldn't take it. My last resort was to collect call my roommate and ask for a few bucks. His cell phone doesn't accept collect calls. The only other number I could remember was my mom's land line. All this took place about 10:30 and the last ferry leaves at 12:50. My mom offered to call and give them her credit card number to buy one, but that's against their policy. The ONLY thing they could do was tell me to tell her to buy a ticket online and give them the confirmation number. So I call mom back and tell her what to do, and head back to the teller. Turns out they don't need the confirmation number, they need the barcode number off the pdf file. We have to wait 30 mins before all this goes through...and I should mention my mom only has a dial up connection where she lives. So we get the e-mail at about MIDNIGHT and the file is corrupt. The teller says all she can do is tell me to tell her that she needs to buy another one and ask for a refund tomorrow as all help lines are closed. The teller then tells me that I should've thought of that before forgetting my card to which I replied "Thank you, that was very helpful" in as sincere a voice as I could muster. Well then I get a call from my roommate. He looked at his phone, called my mom who explained everything and gave him the payphone number to call me back. I tell him he can drive to the ferry right next to our apartment and buy a ticket in person and they can let me on here. A solution the teller gave me an hour ago only she forgot to mention all the terminals are closed over in Bremerton. She does say that he can drive 30 miles to Bainbridge and get one long as he gets there before 12:50. At this point it's 12:30 and I'm starting to think that I might be sleeping outside as the teller informs me I'll have to leave at 1am. So I have no money on me, no place to go, and it's FREEZING outside. Out of nowhere mom calls back and says my little sister was able to ungarble a little bit of that pdf file and get the barcode number. I write it all down and give it to the teller who gives me a ticket to BAINBRIDGE! It's now 12:45 and I tell her I wanted a ticket to Bremerton. The lady tells me I need to get a refund and exchange it. I ask who I can return it to and she says it's her. So talking with this wonderful public servant for 5 more minutes I BARELY catch the ferry and made it back. Just thought I'd share that with everyone. God bless and remember to always have a little cash in case of emergency


Anonymous said...

Well... Welcome to the cheerful caring world of the Washington State Ferry system. Just be glad you wern't on the Edmonds Kingston route! The crew with the attitude doesn't even bother to talk to you if they can help it.

Anonymous said...

The updated terminal in Seattle seems to have made the WSF employees more beauroctratic then ever.

I've had a very similar experience. I have on ocassion been caught without a my wallet or monthly pass. There was a teller who was once kind enough to take a payment over the phone from my dad. The best advise I received was to put the confirmation number on my monthly pass into my cell phone, so the teller can look it up.

It blows my mind that the employees become so calous and hide behind these rules and regulations. Where's the humanity.

John Wood said...

Yep...remembering that night you'd think that time would soften my perception of how much that sucked...but it hasn't. It wasn't any kind of fun.