Monetary Discourse on the L Train

1. Two restaurant employees, one of whom may or may not have been management, discussed An Incident of Swapped Credit Cards that had occured night before. A man on a date paid for the dinner bill with a credit card. MEANWHILE, a group of people at the bar were bickering over who was going to pay for drinks (“I’ve got it” “No, I’ve got it”). They all threw down cards. The bartender said: “Which should I use?” They all said: “That one!” He picked up a card. “This one?” A woman said, “Yes!” He ran the card, she signed for it, and left.

LATER, it came to be understood that the card the bartender had picked up (“This one?”) was actually the card of the man on the date. Completely unclear how it got to be in the pile of cards (“Someone fucked up, is how”). Well, yes. While searching for the man’s card, the maybe-manager comped him and his date glasses of rose. Once it was decided that the card was no longer on the premesis, the maybe-manager reversed the charge for the drinks and advised him to cancel it. The man on the date was a “cool dude,” and said: “These things happen.” The maybe-manager apologized for not being able to comp their whole meal, but did give a 25% discount. Both employees agreed that the discount was more than adequate, because: Shit happens. (I thought it was kind of bullshit, because: Do you know how annoying it is to cancel a credit card? Annoying enough.)

2. Two early-twenties-ish males discussed an upcoming trip to Vegas. One insisted that the way to play it was to take what you’re planning to spend in cash, and then to also bring your debit card, just in case. Under no circumstances should one take a credit card to Vegas, he said; it’s too risky. With cash and a debit card, you might spend all of the money you have, but at least you won’t spend all of the money you don’t have. (There was a sense that he was speaking from experience on this this.)

3. A girl told a boy about the new girl at her job. The new girl was terrible, irresponsible, and just “didn’t get it.” A sweet girl, but totally clueless. Together, they decided she’d last a month, tops. They appeared self-satisfied with their assessment.

4. Two women discussed how expensive New York is (very), especially rent (incredibly). “It’s such a great city but it’s just soooo expensive,” one said. “Yeah it’s insane how much my one-bedroom is. So expensive. It’s crazy.” They were maybe 23.

5. My brother asked me how I was doing with money. I raised my eyebrows at him. He shook his head.

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