I lost my train ticket the other day. My monthly. A hundred bucks worth. I recalled that I’d validated it on the bus to get home (because the bus was there; I don’t wait for it if it’s not there – the timing’s a little vauge and I’m not that adverse to exercise). I remembered left in my back pocket along with a bus timetable. And I knew it was lost, because I have processes to deal with a decaying memory. I lock the car with the car keys now, because the car can be locked without them and I know that I can and have left the keys in the car; so locking it with the key means I can’t do that. I knew that I’d only recently walked in the door, and that I’d only been in a limited number of places. I knew that there was only one place it should have been, where I leave all my pcoket stuff – phone, wallet, MP3 player, keys, coins, ID lanyard and travel ticket. And it wasn’t there. Because I was in the process of trying to put it there. But the other stuff was. It wasn’t in any of my pockets.
I concluded that the only remaining explaination is that I had dropped it, which seemed ludicrous. How could that have happened? It was in my pocket! I retraced my steps back to the bus stop, and halfway there I found the bus pass. Another hundred metres and I found the ticket. During the walk home it had worked its way out, sliding up against the bus timetable and onto the footpath.
Now, the reason I had it in my back pocket was because it was a Friday, and on Fridays its casual day at work and as such my shirt didn’t have a pocket in it. So, there was process failure there, but it was to be expected. Little I can do about casual day.
I’ve had scares like this in the past. The reason I keep my ticket in my pocket is because I need it easily accessible, for feeding into the barriers to let me in and out of the train stations. There are most secure locations I can keep it, but they are less accessible. So I’ve left it in the pocket of the previous day’s shirt and not realised until I’ve arrived at the train station.
But the crux of the matter, the reason this is a GeekRant article, is because if the damn ticket was proximity detect I could keep it in my wallet or on my ID lanyard and never lose it and also have it ready to validate at a moment’s notice. The lanyard would be best, because then I couldn’t get to work without taking my lanyard with me, which would remove another thing I could forget and would inconvience me. And this is all the more important now that I’m lugging a thousand buck yearly ticket around with me. It’s not like it can’t be done either – all the validating machines have proximity sense detectors on them. At least the yearly tickets are plastic and will survive a trip through the washing machine.