Saturday, June 04, 2005


Every day I ride the Metra train into downtown Chicago to work, and after several years of doing this I have begun to notice some strange behavior from some of my fellow commuters. I have decided to point out their evil ways to them, so that they might repent and be saved.

The Fearful Escalator Rider
By now, I had thought that most people in this country were aware of escalators, and knew how to ride them, but apparently that's not the case. Everyday as I file towards the moving stairs, it seems I get stuck directly behind someone to whom the prospect of stepping onto an escalator is only slightly less intimidating than leaping onto a moving freight train. I'm not exactly sure what they're doing, but they stand at the top as though looking for right moment to board. Perhaps they simply fear machines, or maybe they're waiting for their favorite stair to come back around, but it's very annoying. I have two suggestions for these people; either come back late at night and practice, or take the stairs.

The Person who is Intimidated by the Swinging Door
Yet another timid person who commutes in Chicago. First of all, I'm not sure how you can spend any time in the city and not understand the proper use of the swinging door. There are more of these doors at use in Chicago than any other place on earth. These devices were constructed to make using the doors easier, as they allow people to move in and out of a building through the same doorway at the exact same time. However, there's always one person in the group who has decided this is too hard. They stand at the swinging door and wait for it to be totally free of all people (and in some cases to stop moving completely) before they can proceed. This is actually okay at 2 in the afternoon, but during morning rush hour, the door is simply NEVER empty. My suggestion to these people is that they either find a job that let's you arrive at work at 2pm, or try using one of the regular doors that appear on the side of the building.

The Line Jumper
The line jumper is the most diabolical of all commuting dopes, because their act is somewhat malicious. You see, when a person exits the train at Northwest Station, they must then walk down the platform and through the swinging doors to get into the building proper. Since there are a lot of commuters, there are five swinging doors to use, behind which five distinct lines of people usually form, patiently waiting their turn to proceed inside. Unfortunately, there are those that feel that their time is too important to wait with the rest of the great unwashed, so they proceed to walk up the aisle between two of the lines, and then attempt to jump into the door, cutting off the person who is at the front of the line. Other than a good face punching, I really couldn't think of a way to stop such behaviour, but I may have inadvertently stumbled onto the answer. You see, I'm not the always the most aware person in the morning, and the other day, a woman attempted this maneuver when I was at the front of the line and not paying close attention. So when she jumped in front of me, I didn't stop, and we ended up going through the door in the same chamber, and she obviously thought I was some type of psychopath by the look she gave me, and hopefully won't do that again. So if that person is reading this, I'm sorry I scared you, and I'm sorry you're such a rude jackass that you can't wait in line like everyone else.