Er… I mean, train.
So CHILL the eff out.
Stock train photo from riding in November with my mom – on another day with crazy delays!
When it gets really cold out here, as it has this week, the commuter train switches start to fail and the trains are late. It’s been like this for years. I’ve come to expect it.
So a few times before I commuted on Wednesday, I told Steven that my train home would probably be late (because, you know, it’s always on time GOING to work, ha!).
I get to Union Station after work on Wednesday and it’s a mad house. All of the switches are out going north, nothing is coming in or going. People are everywhere, pushing and shoving.
Okay, be calm, Kim. You expected this.
The train I wanted to take isn’t even there yet. But I see a train going to a different area by our rental house, that was supposed to leave before I got to the station, is still there, sitting on the tracks, with the doors closed.
I talk to a conductor on the train next to it, and he sees if the train with the closed doors will open for me, since we’re all sitting and waiting anyway. I appreciate his help. It doesn’t work immediately, but eventually, the conductor opens the doors and a few people get on.
I expect the train to be full and to maybe have to stand. I don’t care – I just wanted to get out of the cold and on to a train.
But luckily, I see lots of seats with only one person in them!
One person, and their FRICKIN’ bag taking the seat next to them.
Sigh. I hate it when people do that. But sure, the doors were closed, they thought that was everyone that was going to be on the train, give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they waited and put their bag on the seat after the doors closed (riiiiiiiiiiiight).
I find a seat and ask the woman if she minds moving her bags so I can sit.
She snaps. “You know this train isn’t going anywhere, RIGHT?!?!”
I almost lose it. “Yep! I just want to get out of the cold and sit down.”
Geesh. AYFKM?! Whether or not this train moves, I obviously want to sit down. So move your sh*t.
The train sits there for quite some time. After it gets going, she makes lot of comments (she seems to know the other people on the car) about being worried the train will make extra stops because of “the extra people that got let on it,” and stupid crap like that (the train stuck to its original schedule, so GFY and STFU). She complains about how ticket prices go up and the switches still fail. And so on. Whiney whine whine (I guess like I am, now?).
Every time the trains are delayed due to cold, I am always surprised that regular commuters are, well, so surprised. This is what happens when it’s hella cold. It sucks. Deal.
Now, I AM lucky I don’t have to commute every day like some people. If this happened to me day after day, I would be much more frustrated. But still. I wouldn’t be a jerk to someone who wanted a seat, then make nasty comments the entire ride home. You’re just making it worse for yourself.
That lady and I were both going to the last stops. I think hers was one out from mine. The car cleared out as we rode, and there were lots of open seats, but I stayed next to her the whole time. Yeah, I can be passive aggressive, too, biznatch.
Ha! Talking about trains reminds me how unreliable/unpredictable they were in Italy. I wonder how these people would deal with that! Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, folks. Prepare. Bring your drinks and snacks. Bring the book you’re reading and the thing you are knitting. Make sure your phone is charged. Use the toilets on the train. BE NICE TO PEOPLE. It’s all gonna be okay. We all just want to get where we need to be. Let’s cooperate.
And this train ride was not all bad. I got a lot of knitting done. As we got close to my stop, I got up to stand in the vestibule and then we were stuck in place for about 10 minutes, during which I had a very nice conversation with a stranger.
Also, I wrote this post early yesterday morning. Mid afternoon, Metra actually sent out an apology letter about the situation (you can read it here). Wow!