Effects of Sleep Deprivation


Today I decided to head to Nagoya for a shuji exhibit. The fare from Tsu Shinmachi is 980 yen; however, I had a morning meeting at Tsu Station. The fare to Tsu is only 150 yen. Rushing a little and running in auto-pilot because I was sleepy, I stuck 1000 yen in the machine and punched the 980 yen button.

I went into the station and hopped the train to Tsu. As I was approaching the exit, I noticed the price on my ticket. Paying six and a half times the price for a ticket wasn’t sitting well with me. In the past I have bought tickets to a destination and then gotten off early to meet someone who called me on the cell phone. Station employees always refused to give me any refund, even to the point of saying such a thing couldn’t be done. I have been successful at getting refunds when I exit the same station without getting on a train. (For example, if I miss a train.)

I had a quick thought to ride back to Tsu Shinmachi and ask to get the ticket fixed, but I didn’t want to be late for my meeting. Not thinking quickly, I put the ticket into the exit wicket and was going to grab it and head to the ticket counter to beg for leniency. Oops. When exiting a station, the ticket doesn’t come back out – the wicket eats it since it is no longer needed.

Regardless, I went to the Kintetsu counter and explained my situation. I was happy the man didn’t just say “tough luck” outright. The exit machines are controlled by Japan Rail because the two stations are connected. He told me to see if the JR employees could retrieve my ticket and then come back and try again.

At the JR window they wanted a complete run-down before they would come to my aid. But they went through the innards of all the wickets while I was there. As an engineer and a geek, it was fun to see how the machines work. The tickets are sorted into at least three bins which can be unlocked and removed.  The reason all the machines were checked is that the clerk was looking in the wrong bin. Eventually we got the ticket out, it was fairly easy to find because the price and location were screwy.

Returning to Kintetsu, I pleaded my case again and he refunded all but 150 yen. After my meeting I came back to the ticket machines and bought a ticket to Nagoya to finish my trip. I did something similar last night when I was stopping at Shiroko on the way home from Nagoya, but that time I noticed right away and got it corrected. (Mental note: get more sleep.)

Had a good time in Nagoya looking at calligraphy works, shopping for teaching supplies, and eating hamburger and fudge brownie at Outback Steakhouse. The best part was discussing teaching with a striking Japanese woman. She is teaching English to her kids and was wrestling with which books to use. Fortunately, the series that is probably the best was on sale.


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