You can't stop a social engineer

In Kansas City, we have two separate bus systems. One is a pretty well-designed intra-urban system on the Missouri side of the metro area managed by the Kansas City Area Transit Authority. The other is an anemic, under-funded system designed almost exclusively for the Nine-To-Five commuters from Johnson County, KS. I live in Johnson County, KS and thus have purchased a monthly bus pass for this bus system.

The benefits are that I can, if I must, use the Johnson County bus to get to downtown KC, MO and get a transfer from that Johnson County bus if my final destination is elsewhere in KCATA's system that my bus doesn't reach.

Last night, heading to the Cowtown Computer Congress, I decided to take a KCATA bus. Normally, the fare would be $1.25. I decided to ask one of the JC Bus drivers for a transfer. This worked once before. Hypothetically speaking, yesterday's events may have worked out like this:

Me: "Excuse me, could I get a favor? I really have to catch a Metro bus and I'm short on cash. I have this bus pass, though. Could you please print out a transfer for me?"

Bus Driver: "No?! You can't just walk up to the bus and get a transfer! You have to ride the bus."

Me: "Oh. I didn't know. (Feigning innocence and stupidity) How far south do you go before you leave Kansas City?"

Bus Driver: "Union Station, then Crown Center."

Me: "Oh, that'll be perfect! (Setting my bags down on a seat) Can I get a transfer?"

Bus Driver: "Sure."

After grabbing the transfer, I may or may not have just taken my bags and gotten the hell off the bus so I could catch a KCATA bus really quick. The bus driver may or may not have called me a few choice words.

Seriously, why would someone like a bus driver power-trip over this kind of thing? I'm going to get what I want one way or another. Worst case scenario, I would have ridden the bus for a few blocks after convincing another rider to get a transfer for me.

... like fish in a barrel, I tell ya ...

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