Sunday, April 10, 2011

Slightly Aimless Rant About the Train Ride Home

So the other day we are approaching a stop. A bunch of folks stand up and move toward the door closest to them on the train. The train stops. People begin filing off the train. But there are three or four ladies who do not. You see, the door closest to us does not open. Is it supposed to be opened by a conductor? Is it supposed to open automatically upon coming to a stop? I don't know. All I know is it doesn't open. The ladies who are standing by it sort of look at each other with amazement. They ask if anybody sees a conductor. They basically stand there stupified wondering WHAT IS GOING ON! After a very decent stretch of time, the train starts up again. The ladies react as if one of their number has been struck by sniper fire. They have missed their allotted time to get off the train and the steel beast is back on its stoic, uncaring way. The train reaches the next stop. For whatever reason, the door opens this time. Rather than go upon her way, one vociferous lady seeks out a conductor. She yells at him! She requests his number so she can report him to his overlords! She proclaims that he should be fired for anyone who is willing to listen as well as all of the people who couldn't give a shizz, but can't help but overhear even though they are wearing headphones because she is so freaking loud (this is me)! Ironically, one of the things she kvetches about is the fact that the conductor has now MADE her late to pick up her "child," even though her extended harangue has delayed the departure of the train and therefore caused countless others to be late for whatever remains on their day's agenda. After a stand-off that lasts about five to seven minutes, the conductors leave the crazy woman to ponder her reverse-travel options and get back on the train to continue the travel toward Norristown. They shake their heads and giggle a bit.

In any event, it is always easy to blame SEPTA. The slightest change in the normal weather pattern usually results in interminable delays. The conductors who take your money are often times rude or condescending. Hell, one time I was on a train when the entire wiring apparatus fell from the sky to beat on the roof like a herd of stampeding elephants! But should SEPTA or its minions be blamed for the fact that the door did not open on the train, and this lady's time with her demon spawn was diminished by a half-hour or so?

I think you know my answer: NO! Yes, it would be nice if all the equipment ran like clockwork, but why would you stand in front of a door that is not opening for three minutes when there are clearly multiple exits in full operation a mere 20 feet in either direction? Don't just stand in front of the door like a dumbarse, wondering to bystanders if anyone is going to go get a conductor! Just walk to the next one! And if you should get stuck on the train for an extra stop, don't delay everyone else's travels by unleashing all of your inner fury on a guy who doesn't give a damn anyway. Save your breath and walk to the other side of the track. Another train is minutes away, and it will save you the indignity of being laughed at/despised by all the people you are forcing to sit on a train while you get your rage on! And don't call your kid your "child." You sound like a pompous douche.

Well, that's it. Thank you!

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