Without pausing the movie on my tablet, I reach into my pocket, pull out the 3-part ticket folder, open it, and hold it for him to check and nod.
"Thank you" he walks on by.
Since I sit in First Class I can be sure to be checked every day without fail.
Then I come into the station and there is a long line of ticket checkers, about 5-6 on either side of the exiting passengers. Again, I reach into my pocket, open the folder, and let them see it as I walk by. Two or three of them look at it while the others are distracted or busy doing something else.
Now, here's the twist. As I said, it's a 3-part folder. One display window contains a photocard with my photo and number on it. Second window contains a weekly ticket, that's related to the photocard by the number. The weekly ticket changes every week, the photocard stays the same. Every week when I buy a new ticket I place it in the display window.
But one week, I didn't!
Instead I placed it in my wallet and travelled like that next morning. I expected to be challenged by the first ticket checker I met. Here's what happened:
No pause. Show ticket.
Jerking my head up staring at the back of his head, then at my ticket! Yes, it is the old ticket!
Then at the station, same thing, 3 inspectors look at the ticket, 2 of them nod. I turn to look back at them with disbelief. I should mention that the end date of the ticket is largest, most centrally located, highly visible text on the ticket.
This continues for 4 days. On the fourth day, Friday afternoon, I am the only one in the First Class compartment, the ticket inspector comes up,
"Can I see your ticket, please?"
No pause, show the ticket.
I went back to my movie. I was used to this now.
Two seconds later, the ticket inspector comes back, "Can I see that ticket again, please?"
As he takes it and starts scrutinising it, I know the jig is up. I take my current ticket out of the wallet and place it on the table.
Also, this ticket inspector had never checked my "invalid" ticket so far.
It took 4 days and 40 ticket inspectors to catch one invalid ticket. How many ticket inspectors do you think it'll take to change a lightbulb?