Thursday, December 12, 2013

Does This Ever Happen to You?

I'll tell you right up front,  this post is a rant that has nothing to do with politics or the news. Enter at your own risk.

So my current job has 2 offices. One in the city where I live and the other about 2 hours away from my apartment door to door.  At least a few times a week I have to schlep out to the latter which I do by train.  Getting to the train station is usually a minor task which involves me taking the subway near my place in one straight shot.

But not today.

Today, my subway decided that it just simply was not going to run. At all. It typically comes every 3-5 minutes so after 25 minutes passed the principles of detection led me to suspect that it was not coming.  Mind you, the subway on the other side of the platform going in the opposite direction was running like clockwork, Jack! I could almost feel the "sucks to be you" looks from all of the people riding in each of the subway cars as they glanced over at all of the unfortunate souls on my side of the platform.

Eventually I just walk out of my local subway station and head for the nearest alternative.  As I'm walking I shoot an email to my secretary to let everyone know my train is delayed.

Did I mention that it is cold outside?

No? Well, let me tell you how cold it was.  It was so cold I literally started walking into random stores and shops along the way just to stay warm.  That's how bad it was.

So I finally get to this other subway station and now so much time has passed that the late-risers have woken up and started their rush hour commute.  Hearing a subway train coming, I hurry down the steps and almost make it to the bottom but then I get stuck behind an old lady who is not only taking each step at a pace of about 1 step per hour but she's also taking up both of the unspoken "lanes" of the staircase.  See, here in this town, public transportation etiquette dictates that slow walkers walk to the right and fast walkers walk to the left. Same for riding escalators;  people stand to the right and walk to the left.

Not this woman.

No, sir.  She was going right down the middle, son. So as I patiently wait for her to reach the bottom, I look ahead just in time to see the subway doors close and pull away. Thanks, lady. Appreciate it.

The next subway is, of course, delayed and doesn't come for several minutes.  Once it does, I pack myself into it like a sardine and head for the train station. I look at my watch: only 9 minutes remaiming until the train that I take to get to work is scheduled to depart from the train station.  Now, since I have only 9 minutes, guess how long the subway takes to get there? 10 minutes!  Obviously.  Any other day this would be a 5 minute subway ride.  But not today.  Today it was 10 minutes.

When I finally get to the train station I run to the platform where my train is just in case it might have left a few minutes late as it sometimes does. Nope. Not today. That joker departed on time like nobody's business.  The schedule said 7:50 am and at 7:50:00 it took off. The next train doesn't depart until 8:18 am so I have some time to kill.

Once it gets close to 8:18, I casually stroll over to that train, board, and take my seat. I pull out my phone and check up on emails while I wait.  My secretary wrote me back and said that my boss doesn't believe that my subway was delayed and thinks that I made the whole thing up as an excuse for my tardiness.  Good to know my word is trusted at the job. Thanks, boss.

About half way through my emails I realize that the 8:18 train that I'm on has not moved. I look at my watch: 8:26 am. I look at my cell phone just to make sure that my watch is not lying to me.  No, my cell phone concurs that my watch is telling the truth. It is 8:26 am and we haven't left yet.  8:30 rolls around.  8:45. Finally at 9:03 am -- nearly an ENTIRE HOUR after my scheduled departure -- the train starts to pull out of the station.  I'm so late to work at this point I consider just jumping off of the train and walking home.

It should be noted that the train that I was 1 minute late for, of course, left on time. But the train that I was early for? I'm still on it as I write this post.

Does this ever happen to anybody else or is it just me?

I quit.
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