Toll Booth Collector diary

           While i was waiting for the results of the Step 1 medical boards (i passed) i got a job as a toll booth collector on a busy stretch of highway. It was the most difficult job i ever had but it was a very interesting job. I learned a lot about people. This job also made me change my political views. Here is a list of some things that i noticed. I will extend this list in the future.

1.)  Friendliness is contagious. If you greet people in a warm manner most people will respond in a warm manner.

2.) Sometimes a genuine ” have a great day” can momentarily lift a persons spirit. This is especially true if they are having a bad day.

3.) 90% of people are good and relatively predictable. Its the 10% of sociopaths that mess it up for everyone.

4.) Toll Booth people do a lot more than just take money. It is the hardest job i have ever had. You have to be a master at multitasking. These people deserve more money. I will take medical school exams any day over being in a toll booth.

5.) People that speed through EZ pass lanes are dicks. Its dangerous and they should slow down.

6.) Crossing the lanes everyday to get to your booth is dangerous. This is especially true when the big transport trucks with the mirrors that stick out 10 feet almost smack you in the head.

7.) The conversations people have on their cell phones are fascinating even if you only hear 10 seconds of it. Some of the convos sound extra juicy.

8.) Minimum wage jobs sucks. Jobs that are slightly above minimum wage still suck.

9.) Not all companies neglect their workers but many do. The ones that take care of their workers will reap the rewards in better customer service. The companies that exploit their workers will feel the wrath of a high turn over rate.

10.) I will never understand the need to micromanage adults. Companies need to stop. Its annoying and unnecessary.

11.) When you have kids to feed you will work 50 hour weeks at a crappy minimum wage job.

12.) You feel a particular rage build up inside of you when a person curses you out for being too slow in counting back money to them.

13.) Extreme boredom is the worst kind of torture. Boredom is so painful that your mind will do anything to escape it. This includes daydreaming. This also includes having imaginary conversations with other people in your head ( im not crazy).

14.) Medicine sucks but there are worse professions in the world. It can get a lot worse.

15.) The economy of the United States is now an employers market. This leads to exploitation of workers.

16.) Outsourcing and the destruction of unions among other things has decimated the job market. You will find highly intelligent and educated people working at ” low skilled” jobs. This is the scary reality of the current economy.

17.) I am no longer a strict anarcho capitalist. Market forces are indifferent to the plight of workers. As human beings we have a responsibility to rise above the cold indifference of market forces.

18.) Too much power in the hands of labor or the hands of management is a bad thing. Both will abuse their powers.

19.) People are generally beautiful. Even though we are a deeply flawed species, we still have redeeming factors.

20.) Breathing Carbon dioxide from cars all day starts to get old

21.) Toll Booths get very cold in the winter and hot as hell in the summer

22.) People really really really do not like to get tickets. Sometimes people would not have exact change. These people would get out of their cars and cross the busy highway in order to ask you to make change for a dollar. They are willing to risk their lives in order to avoid a 10$ ticket!! I don’t understand this.

23.)  People may burst out crying because not having enough toll money was the last straw in their incredibly horrible day. I usually pay from my own pocket in these cases.

24.) I pay for at least 1 person with no money everyday. These people give me a sob story about not being able to afford the toll. I am a sucker for sob stories.

25.) People are very surprised when the stranger in front of them pays their way. Random acts of kindness are awesome.

26.) Attractive people are much less impatient at toll booths. Don’t ask me why.

27.) People think full service means you can pay with credit cards

28.)  Pennies do not get enough respect.

29.) Please acknowledge the existence of your toll booth collector. Indifference is worse than hate. At least when you hate some one you acknowledge that they exist.

30.) There are a lot of cars in this country. From the perspective of a toll booth collector the cars seem endless. You find yourself wondering “what effect do these cars have on the environment?”

30.) I did alot of sondering. Toll booth collecting is one big sonder fest. This is what makes the job interesting.

1. sonder

174 up, 32 down
Briefly, “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Originally from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which has a lot more beautiful neologism definitions like this you might enjoy.
I felt deep sonder thinking about the all the people who looked up this word along with me.

31.) Friendly people are awesome. People with bad attitudes suck. Be a cool person…….that is it for now

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