Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Some Bad Commuting Strategies

Sometimes, people commute but don't think through their commuting strategies.  As a result, they make bad choices which can impact the commutes of those around them.  I'll share with you a few of the poor planners I've witnessed.

Guy with a full cup of coffee but no lid.  Isn't it obvious?  Maybe I have a skewed view of commuting since I've done it for so long.  Recently, I saw a man walking on the platform of a NYC Subway station with a full cup of coffee but no top.  You know the walk. It's the slow Frankenstein steps to avoid spilling something that is filled high.

I figure it's got to be one of the following scenarios playing out.

a) It was the very first subway trip he'd ever taken, and he thought the trains run several inches off the rails via the magic of magnets, resulting in a commute so smooth that you can't even tell you're moving.  He'd of course be wrong with that assumption.

b) He planned to stay on the platform for a while, sipping his caffeinated beverage while taking in all the beauty a subway station has to offer, including rodent wildlife, skin rejuvenating humidity, dripping mystery liquid from above, and that melodic sound of shrieking, squealing train brakes.

c)  He's a superhero, and planned to use his coffee as a weapon to fight against the evil and tyrannical TeaMan, a villain who calls the subway home.

My advice: Get a lid.  It may set you back $0.08, but you and your fellow commuters will all be much happier.  I don't know how the rest of his commute went, but I sure do feel bad for those unfortunate enough to have been near him. By the second or third stop, someone in his vicinity was likely wearing a light with two Splendas.

Guy with a folder full of unorganized papers.  Like many, I use train time to catch up on work, reading, writing a blog post, whatever.  Sometimes though, you'll see a person who has come to the train armed with so much paperwork that all the stuff revolts and tries to escape.  I have seen people pick up reams of documents that have fallen all over the train floor.  Yuck.

My advice: 1974 wants its paper back.  A computer will serve you much better.

Guy without money or a ticket.  I think I covered this ad nauseum in my post, "Life And Theft On The LIRR," which was also published in Newsday (this is still exciting to me).  It's worth mentioning again here, because the guy without money or a ticket is the worst strategist of all.  How does one forget money AND a ticket?  At the risk of offending people again with this point of view, you don't go to the supermarket and buy food or go to a restaurant and order a meal if you don't have money.  So why should it be ok to get a free ride on the train?

My advice: Life isn't free.  Pay your way.

If you need me, I'll be on the train, with a lid-covered coffee, my computer, and my ticket that I paid for.  What can I say, I have a novel approach to life.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.

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  1. I am shocked. How could you fail to mention the odor in the NYC subway station in item b) above???

  2. There are so many wonderful things for the senses in the subway that the olfactory slipped my mind.