The stupid f#$%ing ticket machine delivered only the receipt to say I'd been charged for t' privilege. No sign whatsoever of the ticket itself.
"How Innovative!" I exclaimed and went upstairs to inform those "in charge" that there was a problem.
There I was obliged to stand in line due to there only being two harrased-looking ticket sales people on duty. A young african american guy wasn't taking things very well. His technique for avoiding queue-tension was to walk up and down the length of the line muttering "I hate white people". Thus I was shown the heartwarming fact that full-blown irrational racism isn't just the province of white entertainers best known for their part on "Seinfeld"1 or rich Australian actor/directors2, but is also practiced and enjoyed by the black man in the street too. Lovely.
When I finally got to the window the lady behind it listened to me with a sympathetic ear then directed me to fill out a form. I was a little downhearted by this, but cheered up considerably when she told me I would not have to file the form in Jamaica (as so many LIRR processes seem to involve) but could leave it with her. By the time that was done I had about three minutes to catch my train home. Magic.
During the journey I reflected on the chances of the LIRR processes taking less than a few weeks to grind into action, especially since there would be a series of holidays in the same period that would serve to slow everything down to a managable speed. I resolved to call Visa when I got home and begin the charge disputation process from my end of things.
After the obligatory and always unwanted robot recital of my account balance I was conected in surprisingly short time with a human with a cultured eastern seaboard accent typical of Maryland. Who took all the details and passed me to another human, this one with a charming southern accent.
It is, of course, all but certain I was talking to people in different Indian towns throughout.
Who informed me that the charge hadn't posted, and probably wouldn't for another 3 business days. Since it hadn't posted there was no way to begin the process of flagging the charge as a total and complete rip off.
So now I have to wait until monday to go through the whole muzak/robot/muzak/person/muzak/person chain, at which point there may or may not be a charge showing that I may or may not be able to dispute.
1: Michael Richards, who played the loveable "Kramer", reportedly exploded on stage a couple of days ago during an extended heckling from some rude african americans and became extremely rude in return, expounding on the historical role negroes played in interracial exchanges in the USA and the use of cutlery in non-consensual bondage situations3
2: Mel Gibson was arrested a few months back for drunk driving, whereupon he reportedly became incensed at the arresting officer's possible semetic heritage and felt moved to expound on the role of Jews in starting world wars3
3: I'm not surprised that people think and feel this way. Humans are irrational. But famous people are not allowed to articulate their thoughts on the matter in public and stay famous. Go figger.