When considering a move to New York, I had to carefully weigh my temperament -- nervous, claustrophobic, prone to anxiety attacks -- against the very real possibility I'd be stuck riding in a rickety old metal canister underground squashed against strangers for miles each day to work. Then I remembered that I hate freeway driving more than just about anything else (even yoga), so I got over it, and for the most part I've actually grown to enjoy the subway, even my sardine-can commutes most days.
They've been doing "track work" lately on the line I ride regularly, though, and the trip has grown ever more tedious. For the past two mornings in a row, my commute to work has been interrupted by the frantic cries of a conductor over the train's loudspeaker: "Police! Police! Transit police, come immediately to the downtown train! Police!" Yesterday, it was more than a little disconcerting to note that this announcement echoed for nearly five minutes through a platform at Grand Central Station on the late side of rush hour before help apparently arrived or the conductor panicked and fled or died or something (I switched to the express before I could find out).
This morning I made it all the way down to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall before the excitement kicked in -- this time, in addition to the distress cry, we got some more information: "There is a crime in progress. Police! Police! Report immediately to the conductor's car in the front of the train. There IS a CRIME in PROGRESS!" For the next 10 minutes, doors opening and closing at random, we commuters sighed, craned our necks, and grumbled to each other a bit, but curiously (or not), none of us actually stepped out of the air-conditioned car to see what was happening or attempt to save ourselves from this ongoing crime wave. Since it was nice out, I finally decided to continue the rest of my commute on foot.
I guess my temperament has become more placid over the past few years of subway-riding -- it didn't even occur to me until later to wonder what exactly happened in that poor conductor's car.
Sorta related: Even "7 On Your Side"'s Tappy Phillips can't get justice from the MTA!
(Cute bike-riding mice snagged from this Finnish fairy tale site.)