Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Chatty Subway Conductor

Anyone who regularly takes commuter or subway trains knows that conductor announcements vary.  Sometimes, a conductor is just going through the motions and you can barely understand a word he says.  Sometimes, a conductor makes funny comments.  Sometimes, a conductor is hostile and yells at passengers.

And then, sometimes you get a conductor who is super chatty.  Recently, I was making my way from the LIRR Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn to Downtown Manhattan on the subway.  The conductor was so chatty that I took notes on my iPhone to remember his comments.  In a span of about 6-7 stops, he said a lot.  Perhaps he had a script in front of him.

"If you see suspicious packages, do not keep it to yourself.  Tell a police officer or MTA representative."
It's the subway.  Everything and everyone is suspicious.

"Subway tracks are dangerous.  If you drop something, contact a qualified person to retrieve it."
Who is qualified to retrieve it?  Have you ever seen someone working on the platform who might be helpful?  That dropped mobile phone is toast.

"The next stop is the last stop in Brooklyn.  We will enter Manhattan after this stop."
Thanks for the geography lesson.  I thought we would enter Canton, Ohio next.

"This is the first stop in Manhattan."  
I can only assume the borough departure and entrance announcements were repeated as the train left Manhattan and entered the Bronx.

"The time is 8:14 AM."
He forgot to mention whether it was EDT or EST.

"Enjoy the rest of your day."
Thanks for the encouragement.  I'll do the best I can.

"Please put litter in proper receptacles."
Of course.  We live in a society with RULES.  You don't have to tell ME that.

"There is a wheelchair accessible elevator at the next stop."
That's helpful information for disabled commuter warriors.  I have nothing snide to say here.  Try not to look so surprised.

"Be aware of pickpockets, and do not display electronic devices."
How would I have written this blog post if I didn't take a chance?

"This train is northbound."
Usually this type of statement is accompanied by the train we're on, next stop, etc.  But not in this case.  Just a directional check-in.   He had a compass, and wanted to use it.

"Inappropriate touching is not tolerated on the train."
Damned straight.  Do your inappropriate touching on the platform, where it's encouraged.

By the time I got off the train at Chambers Street, I realized I was ready to take another safety precaution.  I'm going to buy myself a pair of noise canceling headphones.  That's to protect the well-being of everyone around me should I ride a train managed by Mr. Coffee again.

Happy commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.

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