Constant Unexpected Delays
When you depend on public transit to arrive to work, you'll arrive one of two ways: Late, or Fired.
|I'M AN ELEPHANT, AND I'M MAKING YOU LATE|
Regardless of what the internet estimates as your total travel time, random delays will pop up. For this reason, it's a terrible thing when going to a new place in the city for the first time, because you'll never know exactly when you'll arrive.
"Hey meet me at Lexington and 76th at noon!"
"Ok great how long will that take from here?" .
"About 45 minutes. But maybe 4 hours."
Sometimes you can plan for delays because of those helpful little signs.
But most of the time it's out of nowhere,
|Like this frog.|
Dum de doo, the train's cruising along nicely for once! I'm only one station away now! BAM. THE TRAIN STOPS. Then comes the announcement "Ladies and gentlemen we are being held momentarily by the train's dispatcher." Where momentarily is anywhere from "before the announcement is even finished" to "the rest of your life".
The dispatcher, or "son of a bitch" must sit at their desk, find trains that are running on time, and then..
Awkward Silence and Eye Contact on the Train
There's nothing I like more than sharing hours of silence with strangers on crowded trains every week.
On trains in the city, minding your own business is an olympic event. It's human nature to want to commiserate with people, but since 90% of the train appears to be having the worst day of their life, I wisely keep my mouth shut. For those longer rides, if I don't have something to keep me occupied, I will eventually become bored of looking at the floor and ceiling, so it's inevitable that I'll make awkward eye contact with people from time to time.
Forget about actual conversations with these people. Ever hear a married couple say "Oh we met on the subway! It was so romantic." Nope. If people are speaking to you on the train it's because:
A. They want your money.
B. They want your sex.
C. They want your directions.
Which brings me to my next point:
Loud Spiels for Money/Jesus
If I'm on the train, it means I'm late. If I'm late, I'm stressed, and if I'm stressed, the last thing I want to hear is anything.
The people wanting money will either launch into a five minute tirade about how terrible their life is and you should give them money because of it, or they'll do some sort of performance and you should give them money because of it. With these folks, it's usually a couple minutes or so, then it's over.
|Pay me and I'll stop playing!|
The preachers are much much worse.
I don't know if there's ever been a person that found jesus because of "that dude on the subway" but these people will act like it happens all the time! They go on for so long! I've gotten on the train in the midst of someone preaching, then transferred 15 minutes later, and they were not showing any signs of slowing. They don't understand that religion is like a dick, and you can't get someone to appreciate it by jamming it down their throat.
Utter Intelligibility of Announcements
Obviously the train conductors never get people to test the levels in the cars. Someone should tell them that the idea is to press the button, then talk in a concise manner, not press the button, then do your best dog impression.
|The internet has a picture of that exact thing! NO WAY!|
It's amazing the sounds that come out over the intercom. In many ways it's like reading the lyrics of a death metal song. You can follow along if you've got the words right in front of you, but you never would've figured it out on your own.
"Stand clear of the closing doors" becomes. "..stagloders.." .
"Because of construction, there will be no 2 train service between manhattan and brooklyn, take the 4 train instead and transfer at brooklyn bridge" becomes "fft".
And in some stations there are occasionally two trains ready to go, and if you get in the wrong one, you'll hear someone on the intercom say "the train across the platform will be the first to leave" but since all you hear is 'BRBRBZMHHHHMM' you don't realize what they've told you until it's too late.
REMOVE MICROPHONE FROM THROAT, THEN PROCEED.
That's it for now!