Help Train

Dear J-

There was a lady just now … red jacket, bobbed hair; she was looking to get down to San Martin (say that as “mar-TEEN”) or Gilroy and I told her this one might but probably doesn’t go that far and she should check the schedule instead. Me, I did just that and found out the train doesn’t go that far until the afternoon, so it would be a long wait, assuming she’s waiting that long — apparently there are other options once you get down to San Jose Diridon, so this was the right choice. The conductor stopped me on my way down to see her and asked what’s up; once I’d explained he told me, very seriously, that it was Caltrain and he understood I was trying to be helpful, but c’mon, it’s Caltrain and they don’t do that, he said, smiling.

I get it. He’s the same conductor that helped me figure out where to go with my bike the first day riding, and they do take care of their riders here. One dude — regular rider — finally blew up at a different conductor last Tuesday, and yeah, I’ve been mad at the same one but there’s no fault I could assign to anyone but me for that ticket I got (fare evasion, which sounds so nefarious). I like to think that after a year-plus of daily ridership I understand it somewhat, but just when I get too comfortable … perhaps I am a bit too complacent in what I’m doing at work, at least lately. I’d no doubt be better off learning about how to fix the analysis and add complexity than what I’ve been doing lately.

The time ticks by as steel wheels thrust track behind us. I prefer sitting so that I face in the direction we’re traveling; this is something that I think dates back to how much I detest rolling backwards on roller coasters, but maybe you can take it as gospel for work and life in general: we’ve done that already, can we please let’s just move on now? Impatience and impulsiveness is going to get me in the end, I suspect.

Mike

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