Tollbooth worker goes postal

I was driving on the Pike back into Boston this morning with my friend Brian. As we approached the Allston/Brighton tolls, we noticed that one booth had a red light, but people were lining up anyway. This of course resulted in the usual idiocy of people realizing they'd gotten into a closed lane and wanting out of that lane. They either did this by either being so timid that no one really believed they wanted to move over, or suddenly yanking the wheel and swerving out of the lane without looking where they were going. I think I might have seen one person change lanes appropriately. Oh, and every time someone moved out of that lane, someone from one of the other two (green light) lanes would over course jump at the opportunity and swerve over into the now-vacated spot in the line, which had of course closed in in the meantime. Lovely.

As we got closer, we saw that the line with the red light was actually taking tolls. When we got to our booth (I'd just stayed in my line the whole time, since I have this rare gift of recognizing that the way to get through the lines fastest is to just fucking stay put), I mentioned to our toll collector that the next lane over had its red light on, which seemed to be confusing people. He looked back at the traffic, said, "oh yeah, you're right...thanks, I'll mention it to her." He gave me my change, and as we took off, I heard him shout across the lane, "Hey, your light's on red, asshole!"

I really hope these two know each other.


6 comments:

Flip said...

Ha ha, yeah, staying put really is the key, isn't it? Too bad our secret's out now, though...

Got here from Universal Hub, by the way.

Rick said...

Hahahaha Too funny

Lyss said...

One of my elementary school bus drivers was also a part-time toll booth operator (for the NYS Thruway Authority) and he was so nice. I can't imagine him ever addressing one of his fellow operators as 'asshole.'

(This isn't a NY vs. MA thing.. just a childhood anecdote.)

Suldog said...

I think it's very interesting comparing the various toll booth personnel. I go through the Allston tolls maybe twice a week or so. Sometimes the taker says nothing and scowls at you. Sometimes you get a big smile with a "Hi! How are you this morning? Thank you!"

I wonder if the Pike has any random customer service checks, with unmarked riders going through tolls and, say, handing the worker 25 nickels, just to see the response? If not, they should.

Unless it would mean a raise in tolls to pay them, of course :-)

Paul said...

What's a toll booth operator? When I go through Fast Lane I don't see anybody in a booth. ;-)

can-can said...

That's a classic Boston exchange. Somebody should write a book about tollbooth experiences. I've got one really good one I could share.
Glad to "meet" someone else who has learned that "just staying put" is usually the best way to get through a long line - that and always having something interesting to read.