Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sleeping Past Your Stop, A Reader's Story

Readers: Are you familiar with the "Patch" websites? These sites share community news and interesting stories with readers, and my blog posts are sometimes distributed there. Today's TTIV post is a story related to me by Marv, a Patch Reader from Plainview. He read my story, "Slept Past My Stop. A Lesson Learned," and related his own similar tale.

I get some of my best sleep on the train. A fallout of this is sleeping past my stop, which I've done on multiple occasions. Usually, it's not that big a deal. When it happens, I can walk around to the other platform, wait a bit, and a train will soon come. But then there was the day I slept REALLY well.

After a meeting in Long Island City, I was running late and walked briskly to the Hunters Point Avenue station for my ride back to Bethpage. I arrived with a few minutes to spare. Running down the steps, there were two trains parked and open on both sides of the platform. I jumped on what I thought was my train. I sat down and got comfortable. Strangely, the doors closed and the train pulled out early. Early? The Long Island Rail Road is never early.

Figuring I was on the wrong train, I asked another rider if this train stopped at Jamaica. You can always correct your mistake if the train stops at Jamaica. He said yes. Good. 

I passed out rather quickly. Next thing I knew, that same person poked me. "Did you say you needed to get off at Jamaica?" I exploded out of my seat to get off, but realized we were pulling out of Jamaica, not arriving.  "What is the next stop," I asked.  "This is the express to Montauk." WHAT?  TTIV Note: For those unfamiliar with Long Island geography, Montauk is 100 miles from Jamaica. Marv was on an express train making no stops until the Hamptons. 

I found a conductor, and explained what happened. He seemed to take glee in my predicament. "When is the next train to return?" "Tomorrow." Are you kidding? I told him, "I need you to stop the train, so I can hop off."  Blank stare.  He said he would see what he could do, and that he would return.

Some time passed, and he was nowhere to be seen. I walked the train to find him. Along the way, I met an attractive young woman who was in the same predicament. She'd also gotten on the wrong train. Finally, the conductor appeared, and reluctantly they stopped the train so we could get off.

Two westbound trains and a lot of time later, I was in Seaford (Nassau County), and my wife came to pick me up there. Did I ever hear it from her the whole way home. What can I say? I deserved it. Today, we laugh about it.

I use a daily alarm now.

TTIV Note: There are three morals of this story:
1. Set your alarm before the expected arrival time at your destination. 
2. If you call your spouse to pick you up far from home, prepare for grief. It's your fault. 
3. If you find yourself in a similar situation, and you are male, find a pretty girl in the same predicament to help plead your case. She will make your case far better than you ever could.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
Share your commuting stories on the Facebook TTIV site, on Twitter, using hashtag #TTIV, or via email.
Sign up for the blog mailing list by entering your email address in the "Follow By E-Mail" box.
Twitter: @davidrtrainguy

If you like the blog, tell a friend!

SHARE! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This Share on Google Plus Share on Tumblr SHARE!


  1. This gives me anxiety and makes me laugh at the same time!

    1. It's a great story. He got lucky to get off without going all the way east.