Every morning starts with the same good intentions: today, I will go in early. But somewhere between making an overly-elaborate lunch and deciding which earrings best match my socks, I always seem to end up speed walking to the subway.
Last week, however, I had planned ahead. Crafted my three-piece sandwich and colour-coordinated outfit the night before and got my power-walking self over to the subway in time to back my butt into the early train just as the panic-inducing chime signalled that the doors were about to close – but nothing happened.
There we stood, shoulder-to-face-to-chest-to-briefcase, just waiting for our commute to start. Instead, we heard the beginnings of an announcement over the PA system:
“Attention all passengers on the Yonge-University line, we are delayed due to a passenger assistance problem, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
I stood there, stuck in place by the fear that, as soon as I stepped off the subway, I’d hear those three notes signalling that the doors were about to close, turn, and watch from the platform as my on-time arrival to the office disappeared into the abyss.
In my head, I went back and forth between my two options in a battle that rivalled the final scenes from Harry Potter. Which would win: my determination to stay until we headed down the dark tunnel ahead or the boy who was shoving me out of the subway?
As I tried to decide, more people kept getting on but no one was getting off. Eventually, the doors managed to close and the overstuffed subway waddled its way towards the next station. At least that was the plan. Before we could arrive, another passenger assistance notice was announced across the PA and we were once again stuck – but this time, with no chance of escape.
Stuck underground, groups began forming for survival. The one cell phone that had reception got passed around a group of the prison-erhm-passengers so that they could alert their respective offices to their predicament. Others ranted about how they could get the issue was being completely mishandled and if they were running things, nothing like this would happen.
Regardless of who was running things that day, a solid 45 minutes later, I was the one sprinting to the office to avoid being late.
Lesson learned: I may be a commuter chick, but I no longer aspire to be an early bird.