March 21, 2006

A Funny Thing Did Not Happen on the Way to My Office this Morning

I wasn't even supposed to come to the office this morning. I had a doctor's appointment at 9:15 on the Upper West Side.

I was on the station platform at 8:15 and ended up at work at 10 am.

How could something like this happen? Why do you think?

If you guessed the subway you are correct. When I arrived at the station platform the crowd was four people deep. An N train arrived shortly after I got there but it was so crowded I waited for the next one. The next one didn't come for 15 minutes and I couldn't get on that one either but while I was waiting a completely empty W train passed us on the express track. Two more trains stopped at that station in 15 minute intervals while 3 more empty trains passed by on the express track.

I cancelled my appointment. At 9 I got clever. I went to the opposite track and took an empty train going in the wrong direction to the last stop. At Ditmars (the last stop) passengers were told that the train was going back to the train yard and to get on the other train sitting in the station. I took my seat. At 9:20, I was finally on my way into the city.

Turns out there is something happened with a W train somewhere in or near Brooklyn - something bad enough to cause a complete and total disruption of train service.

Because the MTA never tells you what's happening while you're stuck in the middle of something time consuming and disruptive, I got my information from Jon who was watching the news for the transit report.

Almost two hours after I left my house, I made it to the office. I have to wait another two weeks before I can see my doctor.

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