“Ladies and gentleman, we are being held momentarily by the train’s dispatcher. Thank you for your patience.”
“Ladies and gentleman, we are delayed because of train traffic ahead, we apologize for any inconvenience.”
If ever you have had to commute on the New York subway, you have undoubtedly heard these, and other, dreaded delay messages. But when sitting below ground with no reception and a ticking clock, you hear the same messages of “…train traffic ahead…” and “apologize for any inconvenience” over and over, and you start to analyze these message.
One would then discover that they do not sound particularly apologetic. There is nothing but doubt surrounding the sincerity of the apology. What about every inconvenience you’ve caused? Surely there have been more than slight inconveniences. It makes it sound petty. Though, admittedly, they can hardly have a message that says “Hey, sorry, we went and fucked up your day.” Though, maybe they should consider it.
Anyway, it is obviously never convenient to be delayed on your commute. Few, if any, think “Delay! Hot damn this is convenient!” So an apology for any inconvenience would suggest that there may not be inconvenience. But there is… There always is.
And not only is the apology an insincere one, how premature of them to thank you for your patience! What if I’m not being patient? So after that disingenuous apology you then mock us for the patience you force from us. MTA, you sure can be forward sometimes.
Granted, not much can be done about delays. Life has delays. There will always be train traffic ahead in some form or another. But that metaphor is for another post on another day… Today, we question the sincerity of our Mass Transit Authority.
How many people have missed important events because of these delays? How many people have been late to work, or that crucial meeting with that important client? Unforeseeable, or even predictable, delays in transit have a far-reaching effect.
To add to this stress of being stuck on a train, watching as your window of early arrival time closes, is that sometimes there is seemingly no reason. Oh, being held by the train’s dispatcher? What, is he or she feeling lonely and needs something to hold on to? Please don’t make it my train. The people demand a reason for delay! Oh, even spacing between trains? Sounds reasonable… until you’re 20 minutes on a platform, wondering when, if ever, your train will arrive?
Of course, things happen, life happens, and for the most part, people are very understanding and forgiving. But our dear MTA is like a bad boyfriend. He keeps saying sorry for being mean to us, but still, we continue the relationship because some days are okay. Despite everything, it is a system that we love to hate. It is an inherent part of the city and life within it.
Do you know the best place to enjoy hating on the MTA? From the spacious backseat of your Carmel car. It is all yours, stretch out, enjoy the space while you are taken home without delay. The MTA can keep it’s insincere apologies, you’re already home.