Nothing sells papers like scandal, and nothing grabs our attention more than a train wreck. Whenever there is happy news, the paper invariably gets wadded up and used to line the bird cage.
So here you go, more liner.
I’d like to say thank you to all the transit workers out there, especially to the conductor on the Manhattan-bound R train (you know who you are).
Most of the time as I’m running down the stairs and my foot hits the first step I hear “Stand clear of the closing doors” and I resign myself to waiting for the next train. For those that have a commute like mine, a missed train leads to a missed ferry, which leads to me getting home (or to work) a half-hour late.
Normally on those occasions, I, like every other train rider, mumble under my breath, spew some invectives, and hobble down to the seating area praying that the god of easy commutes will take pity on me and let me put my tush down.
So, you may ask, what am I getting at? Well, I’ll tell you. Two Thursday evenings ago as I was rushing for the train, and the conductor was closing the doors I yelled from the top of the stairs, “Hold it, please!”
I never actually dreamed that would happen, being the jaded subway rider that I am, but sometimes you get surprised. I made it down, hopped aboard and gave a silent nod to the god of easy commutes.
When I exited, I made it a point to knock on the conductor’s window to thank her for her kindness. She just smiled and said “No problem.”
As the train pulled out it occurred to me that lately transit workers have been getting a raw deal in the press. Pictures of motor-men reading a daily at the throttle, conductors making a killing on overtime and track workers slacking off.
Yes, I agree there are some that take advantage and are not the best workers, but you can get that in any profession. On the whole, out of the 30,000 or so rapid transit employees, those bad apples are just small change. Transit folk, from token booth clerks to cleaners, motor-men, tower operators (they tell the train when to move), conductors, and all the rest, generally work damn hard to keep us moving.
So to the transit workers out there, thanks for getting me from here to there and in relative safety, thanks for moving hundreds of thousands of us each and every day, even on holidays when it would be easier to stay home, but you come in and make our commutes bearable anyway, and especially to the R train conductor who kept the doors open for the woman with a dodgie knee.
Not for Nuthin,™ I’d also like to apologize for those occasional outbreaks of invectives I hurl the conductor’s way when he or she doesn’t hold the doors. Maybe they didn’t hear me — yeah, right.
Follow Not for Nuthin’ on Twitter @jdelbuono
Joanna DelBuono, who's husband is a transit worker, writes about national issues — and her hard-working beau — every Wednesday on BrooklynDaily.com..