Tag Archives: NJ Transit sucks

MONDAY.

6 Aug

O Monday, you slay me.

This day did not begin on the right foot. I spent a lovely weekend in New Jersey, enjoying the great invention of air conditioning and getting slaughtered in tennis by my sister. I was at peace. I was tan. My hair looked nice. These are all things that would make me wake up on Monday morning and say, “Let’s do this, week!” But instead, I think we can all deduce what happened: NEW JERSEY TRANSIT RUINED MY VIBES. AND MY HAIR. …I’m still tan, so at least there’s that.

I had to wake up at 6:30 AM to make a bus that was LATE. Then I had to sit in a seat whose fan wasn’t working. Then my blackberry died. Then my ipod died. Then my SOUL died because just as quickly as we were motoring along the highway, we came to a complete stop…and stayed that way for a half hour. Then it was the slow, agonizing crawl through the roundabout towards the entrance of the tunnel. Then it was the claustrophobia-inducing idling inside the tunnel. And then it was the complete mayhem of getting off the bus into the crush of the ten billion other people making their way through Port Authority.

At this point, I needed to be at work in thirty minutes. Already experiencing the manic flash-backs from my commuting days, I had no time to go back to my apartment and mentally reset for my day. So to add to my already traumatic morning, I had to go into the Port Authority Bus Terminal bathroom to change my clothes and put on my makeup! Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew.

Then it was the mad-rush to work, which made me mad-sweaty, which meant my hair was mad-frizzy and I was just mad.  The only thing that alleviated my desire to mad-ly punch someone in the neck was that synchronized swimming is on today. Those ladies can kick!

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Personal Space

2 Feb

Sorry for the lack of posts this week–I’ve been recovering from the massive trauma that was my Monday morning commute. I kid–it actually was not that bad! The past times that I’ve gone home since moving into the city, my dad has driven me back in on Sunday night, but this time, we were too engrossed in the SAG awards and before we knew it, it was a little too late. Which meant that I had to get up very early. By the time I got to work on Monday morning, I had already been up for four hours! Needless to say, it was a rather long day!

When I got on the bus Monday morning, it was surprisingly empty, so I had the row to myself. Because I had my suitcase, I was able to put it on the seat next to me, freeing up the already limited leg room. When we got to the next stop, the line was also pretty short, so I didn’t even bother moving my bag. But just as the last person got on and we were ready to pull away, one lone strap-hanger ran frantically across the parking lot. I’m surprised his coat didn’t get caught in the door as we pulled away!

Now, despite the fact that both the rows in front and next to mine both had empty seats, this guy decides he wants to sit next to me! So I had to move my suitcase under the seat and prop my legs on top of it, which was fine I suppose–who really needs leg room for 2 hours? But then this delightful man decides to read his newspaper, opening it up to its full expanse, cutting of most of my arm room! I went from having an entire row to barely half of a seat, much to the complete oblivion of this idiot.

I finally cast him one sideways-glance too many, and he got the picture and folded up his newspaper. Obviously I’m not the only one that’s a little slow in the mornings! I swear, if it’s not one thing on the bus, it’s something else!

New Jersey

27 Jan

I am once again headed back to the homeland this weekend to celebrate my dad’s birthday. This should illustrate what a good daughter I am, that I’m willing to risk sanity and a possible murder conviction over commuting home on a Friday night! Last time I planned to go home for the weekend, it was really windy out, which meant that the delays at the Port Authority were going to be “longer than usual.” Who knows, there might be a stray leaf in the tunnel tonight, making the exit completely impassable!

No, I have not gotten my hatred for NJ Transit out of my system yet, in case you were wondering. There will never be a subject that I will be so eager to bash. It’s just that it has done nothing to try to change my opinion of it! Every time I attempt to take a bus, or even walk past the building, something disturbing happens. Last time, a pigeon practically flew into my face! I could feel the wind from its germ-invested wings flapping over my head.

But all of that aside, it is nice to be home once in a while. Now that I don’t see my house as a holding cell of misery, it’s actually a pretty nice place to be! Although now that I’m a city girl, the rest of my family thinks I’m completely crazy. “Now, explain to me why you would rather spend half of your salary on rent, when you could use that money to go on vacation?”; or “Please tell me you don’t walk home alone…in the dark?!”  It certainly makes for interesting dinner conversation! Maybe a bus ride isn’t the only torture I’ll endure this weekend….

Stress Hives

22 Nov

I am going home for the holiday tomorrow. This means only one thing: I will be taking New Jersey Transit.

Ugh, just saying those 8 caustic words makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. It’s been an absolutely fabulous three weeks and two and a half days where buses and traffic and meltdowns have not been a part of my daily existence. But tomorrow, it all returns.

Call me over-dramatic, but there is just nothing about New Jersey Transit that instills a sense of calm or positive energy in me. Despite the fact that I get a few days off of work, and will not even be travelling during rush hour, I can only look at the trip with a sense of dread. Factor in that tomorrow is the busiest travel day of the year…O God. I feel physically ill right now.

The trauma of my commuting days flows deep people! Last week I met a friend for drinks in midtown, and just walking on the sidewalk across the street from the Port Authority gave me stress hives. I was slathering aloe on my neck for days! So to think that tomorrow, I have to not only battle the crowds of idiotic travelers desperate to flee the city at a respectable hour, but also be trapped once again in my own personal hell…well, it’s not exactly the way to kick off the holiday season. I’m making my packing list now: a duffel bag of clothes, and a paper bag for regulated breathing.

The Jerk on the Bus

5 Oct

This morning, there was a HUGE jerk on the bus….and for once it wasn’t me! I kid….I usually keep my pent-up frustrations inside before exploding into rage once I get to my car, perpetually stewing until I get home and unload on my poor parents. But I digress.

Usually the bus is scheduled to leave at 8:52, and usually, it does not. That’s just the way of the world I suppose. While those spare minutes are often the difference between squeezing past traffic and being stuck in it for an additional twenty minutes, bus drivers don’t typically think in this manner. It doesn’t phase them to hold up 30 people because one person is fumbling with their dollar coins to pay for their ticket, when another bus is just 10 minutes away. It doesn’t occur to these bus drivers that the schedule was made for a reason–to get people places on time. I can probably count on one single hand the number of times my bus has left on time, and it’s been the times when I’m running a minute or two late. Ah, life.

But this morning, at 8:51, the guy sitting next to me looked at his watch, and loudly shouted “Hey drivah, what time does this bus leave?” The bus driver answered that it left at 8:52. “Well that time is it now drivah?” this jerkface squawked. After looking at the clock, the bus driver said it was, in fact, 8:52. “Well whatta we doing here then, drivah?” To which everyone did a collective groan and eye-roll at his rudeness, before the bus driver pulled silently away.

Granted, it was 8:52, and the bus should’ve been leaving. But being rude and obnoxious is just not necessary. Plus, it set the tone for the rest of the ride. A woman two seats in front of me sat up and snapped at the woman behind her to “shut her damn phone off.” This original jerk made it acceptable to be hostile. But listen pal, if you don’t expect to leave late, sit in traffic, deal with obnoxious passengers talking on their phones, constantly jerk to a stop, sustaining whiplash several times in a single ride, pull in at 900 different gates, and idle for a few minutes before getting off the bus, THEN DON’T TAKE NEW JERSEY TRANSIT.

Vacating My Vacation

30 Aug

After a relaxing six days of lounging on the beach, tanning by the pool, soaking up the sun, and flouncing in the waves, I returned from vacation only to get an ear infection, a 2nd degree blistering sunburn on my lower lip, and O YEA: There was a HURRICANE this weekend! All of this has led me to believe I should just stay on vacation, forever.

While both the ear infection and the blistering sunburn were painful, the prospect of me getting to work on Monday morning caused excruciating stress pains. Visions of a pleasant, albeit long, commute back to the city were quickly dashed when pretty much every imaginable road leading out of my town was shut down. I left at 7 am, hoping to catch a bus, only to find out buses were disabled, parking lots were flooded, and the “detour” was a U-turn back the way I came! Despite my valiant effort, I aborted my mission and spent my morning trolling the aisles of Wal-Mart restocking my underwear drawer. When there’s nothing else to do….buy underwear?

Unfortunately, the flood waters have yet to recede, and are just  devastating  enough to cripple any mode of mass transportation within an acceptable radius of my house. So I hopped in the car this morning at 7 am, sat in traffic til 8:45, made it to a mall with an operating park in ride, sat in more traffic going over the bridge, took a subway down to work, and kissed the floor that I made it in less than 3 hours. Four minutes shy of three hours, if you must know.

Now, I am officially a refugee, and will be spending the next few nights on my friend’s couch. Thank god (again) for my fabulous, wonderful, life-saving friends. Otherwise I’d be renting a mule, which is honestly the 2nd most practical choice at this juncture.

A Dramatic Interpretation of Morning Traffic

13 Apr

It took me almost three hours to get to work this morning.

When I tell someone this in a passing conversation, the first thing they ask is “Was there an accident?”

This is a sensible question. Of course you’d think that sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for 45 minutes, only to slowly crawl up the exit ramp to sit in more traffic would mean that somewhere,  there is a REALLY BIG ACCIDENT.

For example, this is what I’m typically visualizing:

SCENE: Girl, 22, sits, nervously tapping her foot. She listens to the same song on rotation and unwraps her sixth piece of gum for the morning, anxiously peeking out the window of the bus. Beads of sweat begin to dot her brow when she realizes she is–once again–going to be late to work.

CUT TO HIGHWAY, MANY MILES AHEAD OF BUS

Mangled metal and shredded tires litter the center of the highway. An eighty-car pile up towers over the lines of traffic. The woman in the top car dangles precariously from the window, screaming “Save me!” over and over.

Suddenly, the bottom car explodes, sending the others precariously crashing to the ground in a huge explosion. Similar to the atomic bomb, the accident sends waves of panic through the traffic, which slows to a halt. A plume of thick black smoke erupts from the wreckage, and emergency crews rush to the scene, the sirens echoing in a desperate cry, EMTs carrying anyone they can find to safety.

CUT BACK TO BUS, MANY MILES AWAY FROM WORKPLACE

The traffic is gridlocked, a slow and agonizing ripple that extends for miles. The passengers sigh in irritation–yet another eighty-car pile up to be cleared. But none of them know of the tragedy that occurred on the slick macadam as the sun rose to its morning brilliance. All they know is that it’s been a long day, and it’s only 9 am. Also, they are hungry.

END SCENE

But the reality is that there is no pile up. Not even a fender-bender. THERE IS NOTHING THIS DRAMATIC THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HOLDING UP TRAFFIC. So someone please explain it to me, because that’s my only explanation for why it took me three hours to get into work. And since I’m forever explaining, I’m going to need a more believable excuse.