How I survived 43 years without riding the train on regular basis, I don’t know. I used to think that my happy place was riding home in my car for 40 minutes between work and home. Clearly, I was wrong. Riding on a train is a lazy man’s dream. You show up with this magical card (similar to this magic money card my wife gives me) and you swipe it on these machines that allow you to walk on the train. Then you get to lounge around the place like you are sitting in your own living room. All while not driving, steering, paying attention or even keeping your eyes on.
I can blog, complain (basically the same thing), listen to music or podcasts, stare at people and make them uncomfortable, box people into their seat or even “accidentally” trip people as they are trying to get out at their stop for endless entertainment. Then like a time machine or transporter, I am a marathon distance away, without sweating or being dead. So this is all good right? Nothing to be bitter about? You’ve come to the wrong place if you were expecting an all positive spin.
The train makes me bitter for several reasons.
Pick up, Drop off – The train is supposed to be good at taking me places. So why is it that I have to get into my car, drive all the way to the train station and then get on? Why am I not able roll off my couch, right into the train, then not able to roll right into the school without having stand up again? Why isn’t this thing that is supposed to be a “Transportation Method” transporting me all places, all the time and in the way I want them to be?
Accommodations – Trains have seats. They have a few tables. They have outlets. And they have Wi-Fi. You know what they don’t have? Everything else. No fancy, comfortable couches, or Lay-Z Bens. They don’t have huge 70 inch 4K curved Samsung LED TV’s for me to watch The Office reruns and sports on. They don’t have Halloween candy delivered directly to your seat. They don’t have in-train movies, 5 star meals or Xboxes to keep me entertained for the 50 minutes I have to ride the train. Time for them to upgrade if they keep wanting me ride.
Communications – Trains are not the best at communication. Sure they have a disembodied voice telling me when the Murray Station is coming up, or that I’m supposed to hold my child’s hand so they don’t fall on the tracks and almost get run over Neo style. However, they are constantly letting me down in the areas of not reminding me that it is my anniversary and I need to get flowers, or it’s my kids birthday and I need to be present or something. And they are always so closed minded when I offer suggestions. It’s like the train can’t even hear me.
Tutoring – The train isn’t very good at helping. Just because it gets me places isn’t an excuse for not being a contributing member of my group projects in school or being a helpful co-worker. It’s like they just think they can show up and everyone will continue to give it a raise or a good grade. Well, if I have anything to say about it, I’m going to give the train a bad peer group grade. Not once has he even helped present in the group presentation or done one of the slides on our Power Point.
Now that I think of it, trains are kind of jerks. And they really are only good at one thing. I guess my suggestion is that the training needs to get back on track and start taking a little more training.
Bitter Training Ben