I am not a fan of public transportation. I never really have been. Living in Mexico for a while didn’t help, but it is part of the deal when you live far away from your office and driving into the city where your big law firm job is located is more problematic. You don’t want to live downtown in a rent controlled apartment for the obvious reasons, and you can’t afford to live in the upscale apartments. You also don’t want to live downtown if you have small children because there is nowhere for them to play outdoors. There’s no space. Driving back and forth is hit and miss. Some days you can get to work or home faster. Many days it is about the same door to door. Right now, I’m a little less than two hours door to door. That’s almost four hours a day I spend doing nothing. I used to read novels. It was enjoyable because I gave up recreational reading when I started law school. When you’re in law school you read absurd amounts of ridiculous crap that hurts your eyes and numbs your brain. Recreational reading is hard to impossible to keep up. But I eventually grew bored with that as my novels were more engaging than my work. That’s a sad thing to consider. I don’t mean to say it is more fun to read novels than go to work, that’s obvious. What I mean to say is that the novels are more stimulating to the brain than legal work.
Any who, the reason public transportation sucks is because people are rude. They are rude enough on the freeway, but they are just as bad on the train or subway. I’m not saying people are confrontational. We live in a mostly passive aggressive society these days. Part of that can be blamed on lawyers who are willing to help sue you for breaking some guy’s face because he insulted your mother in vile terms. Confrontation is not always a bad thing. I confess to being passive aggressive myself. Case in point, one day, the people waiting to get on the subway were blocking the door for the people trying to get out. They only left enough room for the people on the subway to exit single file. Usually, the people waiting give plenty of space. Not today. One of the not-so-aware people was also holding a bike at her side, which was really pinching off any room to get out. I was frustrated and tired of waiting to file out, so I stepped over the lady’s bike. Behind me I hear the statement, “You’re an asshole!” Really? I didn’t respond. I’m not the one blocking the train door. Also, no harm no foul. Oh no, my legs swung over your bike, how offensive to your personal space. Guess what? You ride the subway; your personal space is the last thing anyone cares about.
The other thing that bothers me is people who bring their disgusting and vile habits and eccentricities with them onto the subway/train/bus. They don’t bathe regularly, or not enough for the amount of body odor they produce. They don’t wear antiperspirants. They put their dirty feet on the seat. And I don’t mean just their shoes; they often take off their shoes and put their nasty socks or bare feet on the seat. Thanks a lot, sweaty, flakey foot monster. Subways often smell like hobos live in them when they are out of service. The only people to blame are the people who ride the subway. People also fail to clean up after themselves. They spill their coffee or breakfast on the seat and leave it. Thanks a lot, you klutz. I understand the need to eat during the commute. But please bring your own napkins or something to catch your slop. Cell phone conversations really don’t bother me that much; it’s not hard to tune that out. But why do people feel like they have to shout into their phones? We don’t care about whatever conversation you are having, especially if you are discussing response time efficiencies with some office puke on the other side of the line. Even more so when YOU ARE LOUD. Some transportation outfits have rules about noise and cell phone use, but no one wants to be the noise/phone Nazi and no one likes the noise Nazi either. Just be considerate is all I ask.
The other thing that sucks about public transportation is the timing. If you miss your train, sometimes it is a big deal because the next one to come around isn’t for another hour. That’s an hour that is purely flushed down the drain. Nope, you’re not going to be home by 6:30 p.m. today. You might as well forget about having a few minutes for the treadmill/wife/chores/hobbies after putting the kids to bed tonight. By the time you get home and come out of your commuting coma, it will be 10:00 p.m. Stay up late and enjoy some me time only to hate life when you have to get up, or hate life now by being responsible and going to bed and getting sleep? What’s the point of making a decent chunk of money if you’re never around to enjoy it?
Well, I’m sure you’re thinking why don’t you buy yourself a fancy pants car you big shot selfish brat? First of all, I don’t make that kind of money, and I may never make it by practicing law. (I hope I get out of the practice and even if I stay in, I won’t be able to afford one for a while.) Second, what’s the point of having 500 horsepower if you’re only going five to fifteen miles an hour in commuter traffic and getting five to fifteen miles per gallon? I guess some people take pride in parking the Benz/Bentley/BMW/Audi/Jaguar near the front of the parking garage so every can see what you get to sit in when you’re getting from point A to point B. One day I will have 500 horsepower, but I sure as crap won’t be using it to drive to work and back if I still work in the city.