Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shame Train

There was a young woman who tried  to cut me in line to get on the Blue Line. Actually she tried to cut a lot of people in line and was successful to a point. This was at an auxiliary entrance/exit at the Western Stop that only had one turnstile, one of those tall gate-like things, and there were a lot of people lined up to get on the train. This girl would walk up to the left of people and try and wiggle in front of them. She was in a hurry but that doesn't make her unique. And the line was moving as fast as it could. When one person moved up a step, so did the person behind them. She tried to do this to me as I got closer to the turnstile. She arched around to my left and I could feel her fast twitch muscles vibrate into the air and it was clear she was going to gun it. I didn't feel like seeing her win here though, her getting to work on time was no more important than anyone else getting to work on time. Maybe if she asked politely, "please, I'm running really really late, would you be so kind?" Instead she assumed importance and budged, budged ahead.

But I stepped up quick after the blind guy in front of me made it through the turnstile, so she had to settle for going after me. I scanned my fare card and. Oh, wait, I had to step back because the blind guy was coming back through the turnstile. "Did your card your card not work, do you need me to scan my card to get you through?" I was about to ask this but he said "I decided not to go." This seemed to mess up the turnstile, him coming back through, so it stopped half way as I tried to pass. But lucky for me, the girl in a hurry had tapped her card, anxious to do that before it even prompted the next rider to scan their fare card, before it was even ready. Since there's a little time delay anyway with this new Ventra system, her card registered and it seemed to allow me to pass the rest of the way through, because apparently when the blind guy came back through it negated my scan. So her scan counted for me. Then the girl tried to go through and it wouldn't let her, so she scanned again. But it seemed she may have used the last of her fares on me accidentally. I hovered near the turnstile still, debating that maybe I should be nice and pass back my card. She was scanning and scanning and grunting away. Then she turned and when back down the stairs.

I felt bad because I carry a sensitivity to being perceived as a dick on the train. Once I was taking the Blue Line into work and the person ahead of me was zoned out listening to some possibly great tunes through big head phones. The cluster up ahead of him by the door thinned so I said excuse me several times, there was room beyond him, but he didn't hear me and continued to take up room. So I proceeded to squeeze behind him so I could exit before the doors closed and he got quite upset and screamed "hey! Hey! Don't push! We gotta let people ahead get out first buddy!" There was definitely room ahead, but everyone looked at me like I was an impatient dick. This stayed with me all day, and obviously still, as I felt I was unjustly cast in the role of subway asshole. So this came to mind when I somehow ended up reaping the benefit of the last of this girl's subway fares. And I felt pangs of guilt.

Then I got the train and let those slip away as the doors closed. She probably needed this as a lesson. This is what happens when you cut everyone in line and start swiping your card before the person ahead has started through the gates.

1 comment:

Kenneth Noisewater said...

Sometimes we need to take a stand against buttonholes like this.