Friday, June 09, 2006

Public transit story #8: No keyboard detected. Press F1 to continue.

On Wednesday I pulled an 11-hour day at work.

Well, to be precise, I pulled a 12-hour day at work, but I took an hour and a half for dinner between my actual work day (which ended at 5:00) and my stupid late meeting at another agency (which started at 6:30). Since I didn't take a lunch break, I decided that half an hour of my dinner break ought to be on the clock.

Most of us at the late meeting had to be back at the same location twelve hours later for another meeting. That totally sucked, and not just because the late meeting was two and a half hours long and the morning meeting was three hours long and none of us was very happy about any of these arrangements. We should've had a slumber party. Giggling into the night might just have made us slightly more productive the next day.

But alas, no slumber party for us.

Thankfully, these monthly three-hour meetings come with starch, fruit, and caffeine. I was able to get up a little later than usual, roll into some clothes, roll out the door, and roll onto the train without having to make coffee or breakfast, and still have both coffee and food before having to say vaguely intelligible things.

So there I was, having rolled onto the train that was rolling toward the Caldecott Tunnel, when I heard the conductor come on the PA system.

"Um, folks, we're having some problems with the PA system in the first car. Those passengers in the first car might want to move into another car in order to hear the PA system."

Huh? Did he just say what I thought he said, or was I asleep and/or hearing things?

Said the conductor, "Again, those passengers in the first car might want to move to another car in order to--"


We had just entered the Caldecott Tunnel. The noise level in BART's tunnels is such that people who turn up their iPods to drown out the sounds of their commutes are at risk for hearing loss. And yet the conductor yammered all the way through the tunnel and then some about how people in the first car might have trouble hearing the malfunctioning PA system.

Suddenly I felt a lot better about showing up at my meeting sticky-eyed and stupid.

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