Commuter hell

9 07 2007

Pardon me, this entire entry is a big ol’ rant. Fair warning. If you don’t like a good rant, go **** yourself. No, just kidding, just skip this entry. 🙂 By the way, is it possible to have italic smileys? I guess it kind of is, and it kind of isn’t. 

Sunday for me is commuter hell. It’s probably a good day to drive in Atlanta but it’s a bad day to be going to work at 6 a.m. via train. On the plus side, I’ve actually been getting some *sleep* lately, for a change… so let’s begin this story for today, shall we? It’s kind of like a storybook tale. Let us begin…

Once upon a time, there was a wise King named Arthur, who ruled a vast kingdom called Atlanta along with his nagging wife, Queen Marta. Everything was peachy keen in this peach-infested land until one day, Marta decided she’d had enough of the faulty trains. She called for track work all through the kingdom, especially on the north-south lines. But she wasn’t sure how to do it without disrupting service, so she hit up her homegirls for some ideas. When they failed her, she called on MC Merlin, Wizard of Funk, to share his ideas. Unfortunately, Merlin had had some of that “special” mushroom pizza that day. Still, he had some flashes of brilliance left in him, even through all the psychedelic colors that were flying through his brain.

“Why don’t you just run all the trains on one track? They’ll just take turns. Sure, there’ll be some delays, but you can always thank people for their consideration and/or understanding if things get too bad,” he said, and Marta was thrilled. “That’s so wonderful!” she said.

So from then on, trains were delayed at off hours. At certain points where routes split off in two, travelers were required to transfer to another train for the split-off part to keep the track segments as short as possible. Thus it remains today. The problem is they’re not very vigilant about making sure you have a train to switch to when you get to one of the transfer points, especially not on Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m. (They try much harder at busy times) So not only do trains run every 20 minutes, but you have to get off and wait another 20 minutes for your transfer.

So I get on there and get to a transfer point, and I sit around for a long time. (Keep in mind, it’s literally the plumber-butt crack of dawn and I really need to get to work.) And then, a northbound train arrives, but I need to go southbound. Logically, I should wait for a southbound train to come, right? Wrong! The platform operator, one of the Knights of Marta, directs everyone on the center platform to get on the northbound train to go southbound. OK, “directs” is more like “hollers and shouts.” OK, all right. So I get on the northbound train to go southbound, and the driver announces that we’ll be going northbound. So then some people ask the operator whether we’ll really be going northbound, and she’s like, get on this train to go southbound. And I’m like, you better tell the driver that. The doors on one side start to close and we end up blocking the doors on the other side so the train can’t leave until we get some answers. “Southbound!” they continue to say, gesturing at the northbound train.

So a southbound train appears and we’re all jazzed to get on it, but we’re informed that although this train has stopped here and opened its doors for us, we are not to get on it. It’s out of service. So we wait for the empty train to leave southbound so we can catch another train directly behind it. *shrug* And that’s it. Finally, I got out and walked the rest of the way instead of bothering to wait for my final transfer.

The moral of this story is I need to hurry up and figure out some other way of getting around! First, I need to change out my driver’s license, and then we’ll move from there. Of course, I still think I’ll take the train a lot during rushy-rushy-hour situations; I just hope to not be dependent on it so much.

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5 responses

9 07 2007
Zounds

Ah good times those commuter issues. Its like the city tries to accomodate the masses but in reality just fucks it up for the majority of people. Such the problems of all major cities.

9 07 2007
Matt Adams

You could also take up bicycling or perhaps get a moped of some kind…it sounds like that’s a crowded city and I’ve heard that there are good bicycling options in the general area. ^_^

11 07 2007
Nicole

I’ve seen a lot of people on Segways, and also a good number of people taking horse-drawn carriages, so I suppose anything is truly possible. I may spring for something else entirely though. That’s right, it’s time to bring back the Litter.

If someone could be encouraged to fan me with palm leaves and drop individual seedless grapes in my mouth, that might sweeten the deal.

11 07 2007
Matt Adams

Both of those paragraphs describe two-stud operations. The litter would be an uncomfstrabble ride with only one guy (dragging? pushing?), and the fanning/dropping deal would be sub-optimal without either two dudes (or one that has extreme coordination).

12 07 2007
Nicole

The more studs the better, my friend.

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