Miracle On or Near 34th Street

Three months shy of three full years in New York, I finally damaged my Metrocard for the first time. The corner is just a little bit bent, but it won’t work anymore. With almost two weeks left on a 30-day unlimited card, what to do?

Miraculously, there is a framework in place to deal with just this sort of situation. I went up to one of the information booths in the station, and the woman there gave me this envelope with an instruction form. I filled out the form – name, address, what kind of card did you have, when did it stop working (or when did you lose it), what was the remaining balance, etc. – slipped my old card in, and mailed it off.

My roommate has had to do this in the past, and she said that it wasn’t speedy, but a refund did indeed appear in the mail. Is it terrible that my customer service expectations have sunk so low that I was profoundly amazed and grateful to hear this? That seeing the words, “We’re sorry you had a MetroCard problem, and we’re here to help” had the same effect that a Hallmark card is supposed to? You can keep your roses and violets; if this actually works, I might kiss the next MTA worker I see.

Not really.

What I’ve been reading: Nurtured By Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education, Shinichi Suzuki; , Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, Anne Fadiman

What I’ve been listening to: Tim and Let It Be, The Replacements

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