Stuck between a rock

…and a hard place, I guess.  

Started a new commute to downtown a few weeks ago and I’m still trying to get a hang of it. My body isn’t in auto-pilot yet and worst of all, I’m not that familiar with the new train schedules. Which brings me to the hard place. 

The train schedule said that I could catch the 8:20 from HOB but I would have to transfer at SEC and wait 14 mins for a train to Bloomfield. Total travel time = 43 mins and arrive at 9:03. OR wait for the 8:58 direct train from HOB to Bloomfield. Total travel time = 24 mins and arrive at 9:22. 

I either wait at HOB or SEC. 6 and 1/2 dozen, right? I figured it would be better to get home a little earlier so I opted for the 8:20 via SEC. 

I was enjoying my commute (and even had a sec to take this elevator vid below) until I tried scanning my monthly ticket at the turnstiles. Errrr. Errrrrrrr. Errrrrrr. Nothing. Tried it again and still nothing. Luckily, Customer Service was right there. 

Went up to the window and the guy told me that I had to buy a one-way ticket to NWK because I opted for the “cheaper” ticket. (I didn’t know there was a “cheaper” option!) I felt totally deflated! My monthly ticket that I pay good money for only works if I take a DIRECT train from HOB. No transfer. No nothin. Arg. 

So on top of opting for the LONGER commute (because it got me home 19 mins earlier!) I had to shell out an extra $4.25! 

So here’s what I learned from tonight’s commute:

• Even though a ticket to HOB is cheaper than a ticket to NYP, there’s very limited service, especially after 6:30pm. 
• If you buy a ticket to HOB “via Newark”, it’s not valid for any trains “via Secaucus”

• Always opt for the direct service and shorter commute time!


Put down your phones 

Last night I was crossing a side street by the train station and as I was 1/3 of the way across, I see this car pull up to the crosswalk pretty fast as if he didn’t see me. He stopped suddenly before he was about to hit me and I look up at him and he’s got his iPhone in his hand. He threw up his hands and mouthed “I’m sorry!” and I continued unharmed across the street. 

People: PUT DOWN YOUR PHONES WHILE YOU DRIVE especially at night! I can’t believe people still do it.
As a commuter and someone that’s walked back and forth to the train station countless times, I can say that drivers don’t really respect pedestrians. They see us as a nuisance and as a roadblock that’s impeding them from getting to where they want to go.
Note: it takes a pedestrian only about 4 to 6 SECONDS to cross a street, yet that’s just too long to wait for some drivers. 
Please drive (and walk!) safely out there and put your phones down when you drive!

It’s a new year

Happy belated 2015, commuters! It’s been 2 years since I last posted something but it’s a new year and still the same commute so I figured why not start up again?? (But if you follow me over on Twitter, I’ve been actively and steadily complainy there!)

An update since my last post in 2013…
• still live in Bloomfield
• changed jobs (still commute to the same exact building, just to a different floor)
• try to WALK more often to my office on 50th and 6th from Penn now instead of taking the 1 (weather permitting)
• have a son that now attends college (albeit currently taking “some time off”)
• have one less organ (donated my left kidney to my dad in November of 2013)

Besides that, it’s the same ole, same ole. NJTransit sucks 80% of the time and I try not to complain 90% of the time!

Anyway, I hope you’ve all been well and enjoying your commute. I’m sure you’re looking forward to seeing more of my posts this year!

Happy commuting!

Seat savers

How do you feel about saving seats on a very crowded morning train? I’m not sure how I feel about it. Normally, it’s fine if there are plenty ‘o seats but when there are only middle seats left on the 8:27 and its snowing out and you’re cranky from not getting enough sleep from the night before, right now I’m NOT loving the person that just told me I couldn’t have that empty seat because he was saving it for a friend (who was supposedly “right behind me”). I just walked away and muttered under my breath, “Really?” and took a middle seat. Boo.

But do I have dibs on that seat because I was there first? I mean, I got to the train doors first and boarded first so should I be cranky because I didn’t get that seat? Or should I just relax and be fine squished in my middle seat? Each seat costs $6.25 but you should get a discount for the middle seats especially if you get stuck next to someone that insists on conducting business on the phone first thing!

Passive aggressive graphic design


So the secret to implementing and enforcing the Quiet Car on the 6:42 is to put these little cards (nicely designed, BTW) on the seats and to not have any heat in the car. People turn around out of the car quicker than you can imagine! Yay no heat!

Some people think that handing out cards like these might be passive aggressive. I say yes (and no!) as long they work and people actually pay attention to them. Let’s see how well the power of passive aggressiveness, good graphic design (and no heat!) work…

Welcome back!

Nothing says “welcome back” like a platform full of people on the 1.

Happy New Year! Here’s wishing you a year of short commutes and no delays!

To puff or not to puff

I commuted in with my friend Rich this morning. I had on my puffy down coat and in conversation he pointed out that “only women wear those coats”. I looked at him askance and gave him a wholehearted, “No they don’t! Men wear them too!” But he may have a valid point…

As I stand here at Penn waiting for the 7:37, I’m looking around and I see a bunch of puffy coats but all of the wearers are women. I see men in wool coats, barn jackets, pea coats, fleeces, sweatshirts, rain coats, leather coats and gosh darn it, not a single one of them in a puffy coat!! What the heck? It’s weird!

Do men not feel cold? Does 30-something-degree weather not call for a down-filled coat? (Ducks and geese know a thing or two about keeping warm, right?) Are down coats too cumbersome to carry around with them? Or do they simply think these coats look stupid?? (I do have to say trying to squeeze me and my puffy-coat-wearing butt into a two-seater this morning with another puffy-coat-wearing passenger was like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man trying to fit in a seat next to the Syracuse Orangeman mascot…)

It is only November and the temps haven’t reached anywhere near “frigid” so maybe it is a little too early for the puffer. But when the temps are expected to dip below the 30s again, I’ll be wearing my down coat and looking around to see if Rich’s theory holds true about men and their no-down-coat-wearing rule!