The day before yesterday, my CharlieCard – Boston’s MBTA pass, good for both the subway and the bus – stopped working. I tried swiping again and again, and it would only say, “See Agent.”

Well, since they got rid of tokens, agents are NEVER at any of the stations! What could I do?

I fake-swiped and sneaked through the turnstiles behind other people until this morning, when I bought a ticket good for five rides.

Now, why would my card just crap out on me? I’ve always had a monthly pass, and until a few days ago, it said that it was good through July 31st. It always renewed automatically.

Renewed through my former job.

Ah. That’s it.

At my old job, I always had my CharlieCard taken out of my paycheck before taxes. (My pass costs $59.00 monthly, so it probably saved me about $300.00 a year or so.) They would always pay for the next month on the 10th of the month, so as of February 10th, I would be fully paid through March 31st.

My last day at my old job was on May 8th and my first day at my current job was May 12th. (The job is going great, thank you!) I knew that since I missed the cutoff, my pass would be invalid for the month of June.

Well, without any kind of payment, it was valid for the month of June. I didn’t say anything.

And then it renewed for JULY. There were no charges on any of my credit cards or bank accounts, so I had no idea how it was being paid! Still, I wasn’t going to complain about free transit…

And then they must have discovered their mistake and stopped it immediately, two months to the day after I stopped working there. The benefit company probably has no way to contact me outside of my now-defunct email address at my old job, so I’ll never know.

Damn. I thought they would at least let the card expire at the end of the month.

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