Author Topic: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line- Update #109  (Read 15415 times)

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Raintree

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BG: I live in Canada, about 40 minutes from the U.S. border. Occasionally friends and I like to cross the border into the States for hiking trips, a bit of shopping for stuff we can't get here (or bargains we can't get here), or other attractions.  A few of us decided to all get Nexus cards to expedite the border crossings. For those who don't know, the Nexus card means you've been pre-screened  with all relevant documentation and instead of waiting for what can be a VERY long time (1-2 hours at times) in the regular lane at the border, you can zip through the special Nexus lane and just swipe your card. Everyone in the vehicle must have a Nexus card for that, and you're not allowed to drop off a passenger on one side to have them walk through, and pick them up on the other. It takes a few months to get a Nexus card and cost me $50 for 5 years. (I heard it went up though). I also haven't used it as much as I thought I would, due to being too busy to go down there. [End of BG].

There's one friend of mine who I have been to the States with once or twice before I got a Nexus card. She's a really awesome person, wonderful company, very considerate of others. She's not a person whose feelings I want to hurt. She doesn't drive, but always contributes gas money when she rides with other people. I occasionally do things with her that involve driving within Canada. Sometimes it's her suggestion, not mine, but I don't mind a bit as I appreciate when someone else takes some initiative, and I don't mind driving as long as I'm not the only one paying for gas. I'm saying this because I don't want anyone to think she sounds "entitled"; she is not like that at all.

Lately she has been suggesting we go down to the U.S. together for a day trip. She knows a lot of us in our circle of friends, including me, have Nexus, but she doesn't. I don't know if it's funds, or what, preventing her from applying for a Nexus card. but she hasn't done anything about applying for one.

So now...I have this card, and I am loathe to wait in a long, long lineup each way when I could be zipping through the Nexus lane. I do want a trip over the border soon. In fact, last time I went with mutual friends, the only reason I didn't invite her was that she was the only one without a Nexus card. I just didn't mention it on Facebook or anywhere because I felt bad; I am quite sure she'd have liked to come.

I paid for the privilege of the card to speed my border crossings, and I'd like it to be worth it. Is there a polite way to say, "I do want to go to the U.S. but only with my Nexus-holding friends"?




« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 02:22:21 AM by Raintree »

JenJay

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 06:28:51 PM »
Could the holidays work to your advantage for the time being? Something like "I'd love to go shopping with you, friend, but with all the holiday shopping everyone is doing I'm afraid the line to get through would take way too long. Have you considered a Nexus card?" See what she says?

Pen^2

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 06:41:38 PM »
Could you perhaps have a day trip with too many people for one car? Then you could suggest a nexus car and a non-nexus car. But this only works if there's more than one person without such a card, and you haven't indicated that here.

How about, "I got this card but I just haven't had a chance to use it since [time]! I really want to get some more use out of it." and play it from that angle? I.e. it's not about not wanting to go with her, but rather, you being overly excited about using your card. You know, like someone who's just old enough to buy alcohol being excited when they get asked for ID for the first time and they have a chance to use it. This way she's less likely to take it personally.

Possum

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 06:45:34 PM »
"I'd love to go shopping with you, but the next trip we're taking is planned around getting through customs fast, with the Nexus cards.  We'll have to cut our activity time in half if we don't use them.  How about if we set up another trip two weeks from then, and plan ahead to make the most of our time in the car?  And if you want a Nexus card, I'd be glad to help you figure it out.  It's easy to do, and pretty sweet to have.  I mean, you just zip in and out of there, it's like an E ticket at Disney."

How about, "I got this card but I just haven't had a chance to use it since [time]! I really want to get some more use out of it." and play it from that angle? I.e. it's not about not wanting to go with her, but rather, you being overly excited about using your card. You know, like someone who's just old enough to buy alcohol being excited when they get asked for ID for the first time and they have a chance to use it. This way she's less likely to take it personally.
The problem is, that can be taken as "You're more excited about using this card than spending time with me."

HannahGrace

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 06:46:59 PM »
I hear what you're saying, but she does sound like a lovely person and like a good travel companion.  Any chance you can plan a trip with her where the crossings are timed to avoid the peak periods?  Not sure if the backups are predictable and forgive me if they're not - I'm in the US and I've never waited 2 hours at a border crossing so if I've just been super lucky, feel free to ignore me :)

pickles50

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 06:49:08 PM »
Where in Canada to where in the States? Other mode of transport for her to meet you there...

Raintree

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 07:00:14 PM »
Yeah, not so easy to meet her on the other side as it's all highway-oriented and the only means of public transport from here would be a bus. And then we are into a new level of feeling rude and mean with, "I'm driving, but I'll stick you on a Greyhound."

Given that I do like her company a lot and I am happy to spend time with her, perhaps I will look for a non-peak time to go and it won't be so bad time-wise. And then I'm off the hook for a while :D

Daydream

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 07:03:02 PM »
I paid for the privilege of the card to speed my border crossings, and I'd like it to be worth it. Is there a polite way to say, "I do want to go to the U.S. but only with my Nexus-holding friends"?

Yes, I would say this directly in a way that includes the possibility/assumption of her *being* one of those friends in the future:

You'd be happy to take a trip together when she gets the card. 

You look forward to going to the States together when she gets the card. 

Oh, it's so unfortunate that it wouldn't be good to go anytime soon, since she doesn't have the card yet and the lines/wait would be too long.  The trip wouldn't be very enjoyable.  But it'd be great to go when she gets the card, and you know that will only be a few months from now if she applies for it soon!  Etc.

I also think the suggestions of going at a time when the wait wouldn't be as long or having her take some other form of transportation and meet you there are great too, if possible.

GrammarNerd

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 07:21:20 PM »
Perhaps think of it as if your friend only likes to wear spikey heels, but you're planning on going on a hike over difficult terrain.  She's mentioned going on a hike before, and has said how she'd LOVE to go on this one with you, but she just never gets around to buying hiking boots. Sure, you *could* take her hiking in spikey heels, but she would likely take a lot longer and have to rest more often to massage her feet or whatever.  It's just not the type of trip that you were planning.  Would you feel guilty telling her that she can't go unless she gets proper hiking boots?

Basically, she doesn't have one of the 'tools' necessary for your trip.  The trip is being planned for those with Nexus passes.  Just like your hike would be over difficult terrain that would not work with her spikey heels, so she would need boots.

Emphasize that you would LOVE to go with her, but she'd need a Nexus pass.  Could you play dumb, and act like you thought she'd have applied for one by now, and ask her if she's received it yet?  "We're going on the second Tuesday of next week.  I'm so excited to be able to use the Nexus line so we can avoid those horrendous lines and we'll have more time to shop and can make the most of our day!  Have you received yours yet?"  "No?  Oh, darn!  I really wanted you to be able to join us!  Darn!  Well, how about if we plan to go to XYZ CanadianCoolPlace sometime instead?  Or maybe we can take another trip to the US in a few months when you get your card."

Just make it a foregone conclusion that if she wants to go to the States with you, she'll need the card.  Nothing personal.  She needs a certain 'tool' for this trip, and she doesn't have it.

Wordgeek

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 07:35:43 PM »
I'm with GrammarNerd.  The difference in wait times is so significant that to say everyone in your car needs a Nexus pass is totally reasonable. 

She may not know that all passengers need the pass, as well as the driver, in order for the car to use the Nexus lane.  I didn't until a friend explained it to me.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2013, 07:56:47 PM »
If finances are an issue, how about chipping in to get her a Nexus card as a holiday gift?

aussie_chick

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2013, 08:29:01 PM »
Could the holidays work to your advantage for the time being? Something like "I'd love to go shopping with you, friend, but with all the holiday shopping everyone is doing I'm afraid the line to get through would take way too long. Have you considered a Nexus card?" See what she says?

I really like this wording.

If she says she doesn't want one or doesn't have the funds to purchase one, you could suggest a day trip after the holidays when it's not so busy. When you're only going for a day trip, waiting for up to 2 hours at the border plus the 40 minutes drive each way to get to the border cuts into your day trip substantially.

Maybe after the holidays you could plan a trip together, wait in the line at the border and enjoy each others company, when things aren't quite so hectic.

Not being from the US or Canada, I don't know much about this, but do you have to wait up to 2 hours when you come back to the border to go home? If you do, then I think the request is unreasonable. Up to 4 hours waiting plus an hour and 20 minutes driving is nearly your whole day trip gone! And if that's the case, I wouldn't go on a day trip with her any time to the US!

johelenc1

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2013, 08:46:49 PM »
I get that waiting in line is a pain, but this seems very petty to me.  If you want to spend time with your friend, enjoy her company and would enjoy having her own the trip, I think leaving her at home just because she has chosen not to get a fast pass card is kind-of mean.  Unless I was in some kind of serious rush, I really don't think I would leave my friend at home because of this.

I do think you could tell her that you have a Nexus card and ask her if she has one (pretend you don't know).  If not, frankly, I'd just ask her why.  Maybe she doesn't feel she would use it enough (reasonable since she doesn't have a car).  You could suggest that she still might consider getting one so it would be so much easier to take her with you if she had one.  You could go more often!  I might even mention the rule about the whole car having one (again, assume she doesn't know) and say, "sometimes I go with other friends and think about inviting you but everyone else has a card and doesn't want to wait in the line for one person."  (In other words - maybe pass the buck just a little).  Then you could say, "if you had a card, maybe we could go on more trips together.
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Then, again, I think you should try this route.  Let her know she's missing out on some trips but that you would really love for her to be able to go more often.  If she knows she's been missing out on trips and that is important to her, she may be moved to get a card.

On the other hand, if she still doesn't want one and is content to only go every now and then AND she is a friend you enjoy shopping with, I would take the time to make a trip with her and just deal with the line.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 01:37:24 AM by johelenc1 »

Raintree

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2013, 08:55:16 PM »
I get that waiting in line is a pain, but this seems very petty to me.  If you want to spend time with your friend, enjoy her company and would enjoy having her own the trip, I think leaving her at home just because she has chosen not to get a fast pass card is kind-of mean.  Unless I was in some kind of serious rush, I really don't think I would leave my friend at home because of this.

I was wondering this (ie whether I was being unreasonable). Though the regular lines can be so crazy absurd that before, I generally didn't bother going down there at all unless it was for a longer trip with a very worthwhile destination, rather than just to tootle around and go shopping for a few hours and come back. The actual driving time to the shops she is talking about visiting is less than an hour. The wait times do vary but they can get absurd in a "why bother" kind of way.

Raintree

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2013, 08:56:06 PM »
By the way, I know that a few mutual friends have already said to her, "Hey, get a Nexus card already!!"