Thursday, April 21, 2011

Losing One's Shit

     I am cutting it close to getting today's post up in time.  I cycled through a few ideas hoping to find something that could be mined for a few paragraphs.  Nothing really came to mind.  I have to keep reminding myself what day of the week it is and I considered a post about the days being long but the weeks also being long or some bullshit.
     I am getting increasingly closer to losing my shit each time I ride the Metro.  The escalator situation is out of control.  The announcer woman says clearly "please move to the center of the car" but no one does it.  Hoi polloi insist on strolling as slowly as fucking possible onto the train car increasing the risk of me losing a small body part in the "these doors are not like elevator doors" doors.  Each person thinks the entire Metro system was put in place for them. 
     Let me clarify on the escalator situation being out of control.  All stations in the Metro center have escalators.  Most of them are broken.  I know the old joke- a broken escalator is just stairs.  Wakka wakka wakka.  No.  It is not.  Given the option of stairs, I would take them.  Rarely are there stairs available in the Metro system.
     I get off the Metro every morning at the Navy Yard stop.  To exit the platform there are actually a set of stairs as well as an up direction escalator.  I opt for the stairs.  I began opting for the stairs because standing in line for the escalator is fucking stupid.  Often there is a wee bit of a line for the stairs as well because so many people are exiting at that time, but it tends to be manageable.  Except for when people don't get that the stairs work both ways- up and down.  So when 200 people start going up the stairs, the 3 who need to come down cannot.  Fights break out.
     Then we make it to the turn-style type mechanism we pass through to exit the station.  More lines.  I take a deep breath and count to ten.  Then, THEN, comes the most ridiculous part.  The exit to the street.  Another escalator.  It's an escalator bank actually, there are three of them.  On very rare occasions all three are in operation and during rush hour two go up and one down.  Again I say, this is rare.  Apparently rush hour is also the best possible time to repair an escalator.  For the last week or so there has been one escalator completely out of service and blocked off, one in the down direction, and one just stopped.  It is maddening.  There are several hundred people trying to huff if up an escalator that would be about 4 stories worth of stairs if they were just stairs at the same time.  When you get to the top there are a group of asshats distributing newspapers and a guy whose job is to wear a baseball cap and wave at people leaving the Metro, telling them to "have a nice day."
     It's the kind of thing that makes me almost lose my shit.
     Yesterday on my way home the escalator bank at Dupont Circle was out.  This is not a small or insignificant thing.  If you were to google "Dupont Circle escalators" you would see many news stories about their consistent crappery.  These escalators are pretty fucking serious- they're steep and tall.  I counted once when walking down and it was 120 steps.  I've walked up before but then needed to seek ambulatory care immediately after.  When I approached the broken escalator yesterday (day before, whatevs) I just took an immediate left and went towards the elevator.  Surprise.  There was a line.  (This was not a surprise.)  In the line were a few families, all of whom had strollers and tennis balls.  The escalator is very small, meant for a singular wheelchair and its occupant.  More breathing, more counting to ten.  By the time I made it out of the station, the escalator had started working again.
     It's the kind of thing that makes me almost lose my shit. 

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