Thursday, October 4, 2007

Lost in change

I travel to office by bus daily, and the ticket cost is Rs 7. Mostly I give the correct amount, saving me the trouble of asking the conductor the change and saving him the trouble of giving me the change.

I have found that giving Rs 12 is as good as giving the exact Rs 7, because it gets me back Rs 5 note or coin. It worked well, till one day, when the conductor didn't give me back the expected Rs 5. Instead, he wrote on the ticket Rs 5. (That's a common method conductors adopt to crosscheck when passengers go back to them to get the change.) It took me by surprise; to be fair to him, probably he didn't have any coins.

When the bus reached the destination, I presented the ticket to him, to get my Rs 5 back. He looked into his bag; and took out a Rs 1 coin. No change, sir; he pleaded helplessly. Hard to believe, though. Possible.

I lost Rs 4 in the bargain. Looking back, I thought, if I had not given that Rs 2 along with Rs 10, I would have lost only a maximum of Rs 3! I stopped this practice of voluntarily giving the additional Rs 2, unless the conductor asked for it.


  1. A lesson well learned. I took awhile to understand what u try to imply.

  2. hmm yeah, I guess u still give the exact change when you had :) One thing is usually in such a situation, I approach the conductor a couple of stops earlier than mine so that in such a situation I'd have the chance of maybe giving him 5 and asking him 10 or some other negotiation :)

  3. Thanks to my bad memory, I just forget to collect the change at the end of my journey; it has happened dime a dozen for me. Also, it so happens that when you travel long distance routes early in the morning, the conductor WILL write the change to be tendered in the backside of the ticket. So whenever I travel, I make a habit not to flash Rs 500 notes!