White Collar Tattoo!

Commuter Mixes Tattoo with Wall Street

This CLASSIC article first appeared @ E-Crap in April of 2010

E-Crap, NY/NJ - Anyone who's ever commuted into NYC during rush hour knows about the daily grind. For many people, they're already exhausted when they finally arrive in their offices. While there are multiple ways to "cross the river" into Manhattan from New Jersey (ferry, bus, train, subway, drive, walk... am I missing any? Helicopter, I suppose, bike, scooter, um... skateboard?), the most popular (or should I say the most volume of commuters) is the train. It's faster than a bus, cheaper than a ferry, and makes many stops throughout the state.

It was to my amazement when I sat next to a fellow commuter the other day and noticed his interesting tattoo. He had his sleeves rolled up to his wrists (his wool suit jacket neatly pressed on his lap), displaying a Tag Heuer watch, and a tattoo that looked all too familiar - since it was the same thing I was about to show the train conductor! He had a tattoo of the NJ Transit monthly parking pass on his wrist! And he even had the current month inked! 

As the train conductor approached, I showed my ticket, and the man raised his arm. The conductor nodded, and approved his ride.

I had to ask. And his response went something like this... 

"I started commuting to lower Manhattan two years ago. The train was my only option. Buying a monthly pass costs only about 50% of what a regular monthly fare would cost on a daily or weekly basis. So I began buying monthly passes. But who knew that you had to treat your monthly pass like cash? If you lose it, they do not replace it! And you're not allowed to laminate it, according to the FAQ on their website. So of course, my first week of commuting, I lose my pass. It cost nearly $300. I replaced it - then a week later I lost it again! It was going to end up costing me $800 for a month of commuting. That was, if I didn't lose the pass again. I still don't know how people never lose their damn passes!"

"So I needed a solution. It was useless to try and buy monthly passes since I'd just lose them. And to buy weekly or daily would cost too much. I figured the cheapest, and easiest, answer was to get a tattoo of the monthly pass on my arm. I'd never lose it, and the tattoo artist I contacted did it for only $200! Not only was it cheaper than a ticket, I'd be able to use it year-round and never pay again! Or so I thought. Much to my surprise, after the first month, the conductor rejected my tattoo! He said the month expired, and he charged me the daily rate plus a $5 penalty for paying on the train! That night, I went back to my tattoo artist and added the current month next to the last month. No way I was paying a daily rate the next day, never mind the penalty!"

"And much like shaving your chest, I couldn't stop. Every month for a year now. I finally reached the wrist, and next month, I'll either need to continue on the back of the arm, or start the other arm. But damn it, I'm saving money, and I WILL beat the system!"


for E-Crap.com


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