Some rules are made to be broken

25 Apr

Here’s the headline from last week: “BART worker may lose job over act of ‘benevolence.'” And here’s the story:

A teenager who lost his father last year started having trouble in school, so his grandparents moved him from the local public school in Hercules to Flex Academy in San Francisco. The kid has turned things around, but the $200 monthly in fares to get to and from school were threatening his ability to continue at Flex. According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

When [station agent Jim] Stanek heard about their dilemma, he thought he could help. In the Daly  City booth where he works, there was $300 worth of paid, unused tickets that commuters left behind. Stanek says those tickets are usually thrown away.

Two weeks ago, Stanek said he gave them to the teen – knowing it was against  the rules. Later, when a station agent asked the teen about the bundle of  tickets, he explained where he got them (

So Stanek is facing early forced retirement.

Wow. Although Stanek technically stole from BART (since “tickets are cash”), it seems more like recycling, doesn’t it?

His story makes me wonder about the logic of just bundling up money and locking it up somewhere. Perhaps in addition to reviewing Stanek’s actions, BART might review its own and consider instituting a policy regarding lost tickets that benefits commuters: like the give-a-penny-take-a-penny dish by cash registers, or donations to an organization that serves folks in need, or redeeming the lost tickets for a day or week of discounted fares?

Because Stanek’s actions seem as inspired by institutional inaction as by his personal interest in one child.

One Response to “Some rules are made to be broken”

  1. sallyp1 April 25, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Seriously? Where is the compassion and justice here! Come on BART, do the right thing…

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