Remember the guy who always complained about his commute? He's back.
I have tried to keep my complaints to myself about NJ Transit's absolutely horrid service on the Northeast Corridor, but today I am forced to once again complain.
It was 13 degrees before wind chill outside, when I said goodbye to Brenda this morning. As her car sped off, I heard the announcement: "due to a broken down train, all trains bound for New York are subject to at least a 30 minute delay". I noted the time and the cause of the delay, as both of these things tend to change as time goes on.
Waiting on the open platform, I adjusted my coat as best I could and hunkered down behind an advertisement for The Lion King. The Lion sheltered me from the wind which, while light, still brought the "feels like" temperature to about 5 degrees. After dutifully waiting the thirty motherfucking minutes, an announcement was made that a train just left Jersey Avenue, was making all local stops, and was already standing room only. To put a time reference on that for you, that meant that a train wasn't likely to show up at Metropark for another 30 minutes, then would take almost an hour to reach New York City, and I may not even fit on it anyway. Oh, and now they were blaming the delay on old reliable: "signal and switch problems". Motherfuckers, all of them. Every single goddamned one of them. NJTransit, you suck. You suck long and hard.
I headed for home. I didn't have any reason to be physically in the office today anyway, so I decided to work from home. Since abject hatred only warms you up so much, I stopped in the QuickChek and got some cash, and tried to warm up a little. I was going to get a hot egg & cheese sandwich, but there was a woman arguing with the cashier over change, and four people behind her in line to pay, so I split. I covered the mile or so walk back to my house faster than ever; my heart stopped twice, I got ice on my beard, and my left ear cracked and fell off. But I made it home. I wore Emma like a hat for ten minutes, and I was 100%. It was time to call NJTransit's complaint line. I know the number.
Here's the thing: the customer service rep on the other end blamed this morning's delays on a bridge strike (this is when a truck accidentally hits a railway overpass, and they enforce a speed restriction for the trains). So that made it three different reasons for the delays this morning. I knew I would get no satisfaction from complaining, but I never suspected that NJT would actually find a way to piss me off even more. I decided that, while I had this person on the phone, I'd go ahead and complain about the million and a half dollars these idiots spent about a year ago to give all the conductors cell phones. She told me that was for "Homeland Security", which is funny, because not only is that a total bullshit answer, it's also a different reason than they gave at the time they bought the phones. These guys just can't get their stories straight. At that point I figured I'd end the call since I was only getting more upset. I promise, I didn't call the bitch any names. I was very cordial, muttering something like "this is bullshit; we're finished talking now" and hung up.
So now I start my workday, the only comfort being the knowledge that I'd probably just be getting to Penn Station right now had I tried to use my $188 monthly pass. What a rotten deal that is.