And we’re back. There have been a few changes. I took time away from the internet. I finished up a project. (More on that next month.) And my commute changed.
Once upon a time, getting to work was simple. I walked a bit, hopped on a bus, rode it to downtown, and then walked a bit to work. Now, due to factors outside my control, I walk a little, hop on a bus, ride it until it refuses to take me any farther, go underground, hop on a subway, and walk a little to work.
I am not a huge subway fan. My previous journey used to let me see the sights. Lakes, mountains, sunrises; it suited me fine. Plus, I like the notion of only having to wait for one method of transportation. Waiting twice? Hoping that nothing has gone wrong two different times before getting to work? That’s not my preference. However, it still beats paying over four bucks per gallon of gas or paying three hundred bucks a month for parking. So, I bite my tongue and do as I am told.
The questions come when I listen to what I am being told. Three distinct notices have caused my eyebrows to make curious shapes.
-“Hello and welcome to your neighborhood station. Please explore and experience everything that makes it special.”
Okay, first off? The way your mechanical voice pronounces, “speh-shul?” Spot on. Not the least bit creepy. Nope. It sounds entirely warm and cheery. In no way does it give me the heebie-jeebies every time I hear it. Nope. Not all. And the way the false-voice inserts extra pauses between words, and sometimes in the middle of words? Spot-on. Truly.
How am I supposed to explore everything if you have these signs everywhere? You won’t let me walk into the driver’s area. “Restricted area.” “Emergency exit only.” Quite uninviting, let me tell you. Rude, even. You tell me over and over to, “please stand behind the yellow line.” How am I supposed to get a good look at the high-voltage lines? How can I really get up close and grab onto that rail bolted to the concrete floor? I want to know how a building that just opened this month already has puddles. But no. You won’t let me. Security stops me from “exploring.”
(Though, potentially being thrown to the ground, getting a knee between your shoulder blades, having questions hurled at you faster than a train, and being removed from the premises in handcuffs, does technically count as an “experience.” So, you’ve got me there. I can see myself being shoved roughly as they ask, “What’re you, some kinda nutjob?”)
-“Do not disturb the operator while driving.”
Why would I want to drive? Isn’t the entire point of me commuting via bus and such that I don’t have to worry about driving? I have books to read, darn it. Do you want me driving your sixty-foot bus or your I-don’t-even-know-how-long subway? That’s a lot of responsibility to thrust upon me. And who are you to tell me that I should drive your vehicles? Don’t you have a whole staff full of folks for that? Pfft. Lazy.
Oh, you have drivers? Great. That means I can bug them when they are off the clock? Walk around town looking for people wearing high reflectivity vests that are used to sitting all day? Should I poke them? Eat French fries off their plates? Walk up to their children and tell them about the time you shoplifted popsicles from the ice cream man? We know what you did. When you’re not driving, the sign says I can torment you. Right?
-“Please report any suspicious behavior to security or transit employees.”
I don’t know how much free time you have, but I have things to do with my life. We’re in downtown. C’mon. I have men that walk up to me and yell, “Shut up! Stop! Shut up!” when I don’t even open my mouth. I see trucks parking in no-parking spots all day long. I see people riding up and down the sidewalk in electric skateboards that only have one wheel. What topic did you want to start with?
You want to stick to things just in the station? Okay, the escalator to the outside is caked in bird poo. Like a never-ending buffet of fecal matter being constantly conveyed to us. Or, we could talk about how the signs overhead wobble whenever a train approaches. Which, I guess is no big deal, since that only happens every ten minutes. What could possibly go wrong?
That’s not even discussing my suspicious behavior. On Sunday, I found two boxes of potato casserole that expired in August. And I cooked them anyways. That’s right, I willingly consumed foot that was supposed to be persona non grata, (actually, they were au gratin) two months ago. And instead of cooking one box, I put both boxes in the same dish without following exact cooking instructions. How’s that for suspicious? My vet claims I have to put a rubber thimble on my finger, coat it in a gel, and shove it into my cat’s mouth. She maintains that even though cats have been around for thousands of years, I now have to brush my cat’s teeth two to three times a week. If you ever saw it in action, you’d think it looked mighty suspicious.
Exactly how many staff do you have to listen to record all this? Don’t they have better things to do? If each of us does our duty and reports any and all suspicious behaviors, it’ll take quite a while. And I gotta get to work.