The title of this blog post is precisely what I heard as I was approaching the steps to get on my train Tuesday. Like a slap in the face the words stung and floated in the air like cartoon bubbles over everyone’s heads. I noticed there was an oddly large crowd of people walking away from the general area of the platform but not until I heard those words did I put two and two together. I guess if you want to get technical I never put two and two together they were given to me that way. So I had a panicked moment. I could go with some of the crowd to the nearest stop, and likely keep going until we found a station that had trains running or I could take my chances on the bus. I opted for the bus, which I hate. I don’t hate many things about New York but this particular bus, I do hate. But just as I was getting to the stop I saw an already overcrowded bus pass the stop by.
Smarter Astorians were walking to the next bus stop before mine and catching it away from the crowds. Another two came and went before I spotted a few people trying to hail cabs. This new third option seemed worth a try. But again, people were walking away from the crowd to get cabs and then they’d ride past us. One passenger per cab seemed like selfish madness. I asked around until I found others going to the Upper West Side and we agreed to share the fare and the car. Eventually we lost one as he jumped in a crowded cab with another group of people, seems he made more than one taxi alliance. Never mind him, a new person took his place in our taxi sharing scheme before we knew it and yet the cabs kept passing us by. Either they couldn’t cross the lanes quickly enough or they’d already have a single passenger in the back seat that was willing to pay the full fare. Again, I need to point out that when everyone in Astoria is suddenly without transportation to Manhattan and our jobs you are not doing anyone any good especially your karma by sitting in a cab all by your lonesome as others wait. Finally a black car looked like he was going to take us, it looked like he waved at my little group but by the time he crossed over the lanes another jumped in the car. One of my companions was flabbergasted. The next time we got the signal from a cab that he was going to pick us up we started running after him until he stopped. Others were much closer and could have taken it but I think the sight of three professionally dressed women running down the street might have scared some people off. After being burned once I’m sure we gave off an intimidating aura.
It wasn’t until we got in the cab that I started searching my pockets for cash and we exchanged names. Maria was on my left and in a major rush to get to some fair or expo her office was hosting, she’d drawn the early shift and didn’t want her boss to have to fill in. I agreed to be dropped off closer to her stop than mine so she would have less to walk. Steph was on my right and very cutely dressed in colored leggings. I don’t know if I could pull off colored leggings. She seemed much calmer. We’d all already called our offices. about $10 later Maria and I got out of the cab and Steph continued. I decided that I was closer to Starbucks than to my office and under the circumstances that I should get the coffee. As I strolled into my office I started to regret the coffee. Walking in late with a venti in hand might seem like I was late because of the venti when in reality it was just a teeny part of my morning. Anyway, I checked in with my boss who hadn’t listened to my voice mail or even noticed I was missing yet.
Lessons learned from my train-less hijinks. Opting to take a cab is faster than waiting for the train to start running again. The last time I was without train there was snow and wind and the temps were in the 30s. I stood on the platform until the train finally made its slow approach but I didn’t get to work until almost 11:00 a.m. I go in at 9 so that’s kinda late. Yesterday after all my deciding and waiting and trying I got to work about 9:15 – big difference! And I read that the train didn’t start moving again until after 10:00 a.m. so I made the right call. Also, I met people from the stops all around mine and I learned that none of them were working so the only option if I chose to walk would have been to go all the way to Queensboro Plaza and catching a 7 to Grand Central Station, then an S to Times Square and finally a 1/2/3 to my final destination.