Yesterday, I found myself feeling sorry for the undercover ticket inspector on the 96 tram. She could have booked a whole bunch of people but missed out on the opportunity.
An elderly woman at one of the tram stops was wanting to get to the museum with her three grandkids but wasn't sure if she was on the right tram. The inspector, who had not revealed her identity at that stage, helped the old lady on board.
A few moments later, the inspector asked to see everyones tickets. The old woman feigned ignorance – in the way that only elderly people can do and still get away with it ("How much does it cost?", "Can I buy the tickets from you?").
The inspector fell for it and instead of booking the woman, tried to be helpful and pointed the old lady towards the coin machine.
The inspector then proceeded to ask the next set of passengers nearby for their ticket. Having witnessed what had gone on moments earlier, they, too, feigned ignorance ("Oh, we're from Adelaide? How do we buy tickets?").
And having set a precedent, the inspector had no option but to offer the interstate fare invaders the same opportunities to redeem themselves though you could see, by now, the inspector was getting frustrated..."what is going on today?", I heard her muttering under her breath.