Metro Stranger Danger, Review Your Documents

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Contagion. Although I didn’t particularly enjoy it, it did leave an impression. Recently I was confronted in the Metro station while purchasing my ticket. The man uncomfortably invaded my personal space asking for change. He looked very sickly and had bright red splotches on his face. I thought life was imitating art. I had seconds to react.

Don’t Panic

Sadly, I panicked. I said I didn’t have any change and quickly swiped my credit card for my pass. As I hurried away to a safer distance, I noticed my charge was for $5.00. In my haste, I accidentally punched the all day pass instead of a one-way pass for $1.50.

Pay Attention

I waited for the next train and noticed he was slowly making his way down the stairs. He was asking other people for change. I seriously thought he was going to approach me again because he seemed so out of it, he may have already forgotten me. A train whisked by and came to a quick stop. I dashed on board to avoid any contagion.

Time Is Money

I caught my breath and tried to relax as the train sped away. A few minutes and stops passed and I noticed the next station name did not sound familiar. Oh, snap! I jumped on the wrong train! I jumped off the next stop, waited a few minutes, hopped on another train going the other direction, raced down the stairs, and jumped on the train I was supposed to catch. I wasted precious minutes getting to know the Metro system better.

Final Thoughts

Although I wasted some time and $3.50, I learned a valuable lesson. If I am dealing with critical paperwork like loan documents, contracts, tax forms, and anything else with fine print, I need to be diligent. I can’t panic from the word overload. I need to pay attention even if my eyes are glazing over the tons of pages. These documents have long-term financial consequences. Hunker down, make sure you dot your i’s and dash your t’s because you don’t want to burn valuable time and money undoing your mistake or worse get hit with unexpected fees, audits, or lawsuits.

Stay Inspired!
Buck

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21 Responses

  1. Wow, a great story (for me to read at least). It certainly does make for a nice connection into our finances. Too often I skim through documents. I do take time for the really important ones, but this is great advice.

  2. I was with you until that last part…

    Maybe it’s just me, but avoiding a sickly homeless person breathing on me and doing financial paperwork are two very different situations.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      I understand where you are coming from. It is a stretch and it may be clearer in my mind. I recently had to review some documents and was repeating my bad habit of skimming them over. Appreciate the feedback and I plan to do a follow up. Thanks!

  3. MoneyCone says:

    I hate it when someone hands me documents to sign and they are sitting across me waiting for me to sign it! I like to go through fine prints before autographing it and I like to take my time doing it!

    • Me too. I hate being rushed. I am a slow reader to begin with and I never get a chance to absorb what I need in these types of situations. I would much rather read them in my own home in the time I need.

      • Buck Inspire says:

        I’m with you. Like I mentioned in the other comments, I need to break my bad habit. At home, there are distractions like blog surfing, commenting, and writing. I need to focus better on documents with a lot of fine print and legalese. Thanks!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Oh great point. I already have a bad skimming habit. Add that with a limited timeframe and pressure from someone waiting in front of me, worst case scenario for me!

  4. krantcents says:

    When signing documents, I always have the feeling of being rushed. I wonder how often people really read the documents they sign including credit card receipts. The unfortunate thing is a judge will say you signed, therefore you are responsible. Be careful, anything you sign you are expected to read it and understand it.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Me too. I often race through credit card receipts, but we should really take the extra time because you never know if there is an error. Good point. In the judge’s eye, your signature binds you. We should seriously heed, “Sign you life away” when dealing with documents.

  5. Kellen says:

    I hate it at work when a manager comes rushing over with something for you to do “Just quickly…” Because then I rush and they always have review notes, that they want me to respond to quickly as well… which of course results in more mistakes. Doing things without mistakes requires time!

  6. Don’t Panic! I though you would have more experience dealing with wackos and panhandlers in LA. 🙂 Earlier this week, I walking to catch my train and a mental lady started talking to me non stop. I had my ear phone on and just ignored her after taking 5 seconds to decide she is a bit nutty. She followed me to the train stop though and kept talking… Good thing the train came right away and I was able to get away.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      I know! I’m used to them, but this one was unusually creepy, especially after seeing Contagion. Wow, thought things would be different in Portland. Actually, the other day, some lady was yelling a foreign language and scaring people. I had to turn around a few times just to make sure she wasn’t about to pounce on me.

  7. 101 Centavos says:

    I may have changed space in a hurry if in danger of being snotted on by a random hobo. You did OK.

  8. I would have done the same thing. I need to stop rushing through things and pay a bit more attention.

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