I surrender--or: fictitious letter to TAB22. Mai 2006 - 19:34
Dear Transit Adjudication Bureau of New York City,
I surrender. I give in. I confess.
I'm sure your police officers were way too busy yelling at me and go through my stuff, reading the printouts of very private emails, showing one email that revealed my homosexuality to each other with evil smiles, so they weren't really able to realize that I had a valid 30-days unlimited ride metro card in my hand and showed it repeatedly and visually to both of them when they stopped me and issued me a fine for supposedly riding the subway without paying the fare.
I promise that I try to understand that my credit card statement that proves I've bought a 30-day unlimited rides card can not be used as evidence of my innocence. Every sane human being would say I'm innocent, but I give in, you're right: although I had a valid metro card in my hand, and although I've sent the metro card two times to your office (after you returned it with a letter and forgot about that).
I'm sorry your phone number is very busy and to get through to you takes like 90 minutes each time, I think that's my responsibility too. I'm sorry that once you kept me waiting for three hours on the phone pretending you're doing something for me. And I'm sorry you hung up on me after three hours, calls from Germany to the US aren't really cheap by the way--I guess that's my fault as well. And I'm sorry another clerk hung up on me too right after that, this clearly proves your point that I didn't respond. And I'm sorry your letter was sent back to you labeled "insufficient address", but since all other letters have arrived, it is clear I didn't provide a wrong address to you. And yes, I try to understand that as soon as a letter has left your office, it's completely my responsibility that I get it. It's completely my fault the Post wasn't able to deliver the mail to me, you are so right. I promise I will try to understand why you "see no good cause" to get this solved. And I try to understand why you say that I don't respond to your letters. Responses by phone, fax and letters always on the same day I got your letter seems not to be enough in your world.
I'm sorry I got no letter I could have responded to, and I'm sure your late penalty for not answering to a letter that came back to you labeled "insufficient address" makes sense to you. And I'm sure your promise sending me the letter again, but instead just sending another late penalty is fine as well. I grew up in a country of justice, and maybe I just expected that in your country as well. I'm such a dork. I confess.
I'm sorry that I've expected to be treated like a human. Now I know how stupid I was to hope you would help me out of this ridiculous ticket. I pay the ticket, and the two late fees, although I didn't do anything wrong. And--as your form says--by paying I confess my guilt. So that's what I do now.
If the State of New York and the City of New York need money that bad, that they even start to fine innocent tourists because they can't come back for a court case, I just give in. I don't want to become famous for being the guy who didn't spare a couple dollars for a (maybe? at least they act like that) bankrupt state.
Take my money, take my pride. But please never ever do that again.