Thursday, February 5, 2009

Indian (not) Giver

11:35pm - 50th Street and 8th Avenue Subway stop

*note to non-subway riders---once you swipe your Metro card, you can't swipe again for about 17 minutes

I approach an MTA employee, a smallish Indian man sitting comfortably behind bullet-proof glass. He looks like he belongs in a Wes Anderson movie. He's simply adorable.

I was mistaken.

Me: Hi there. Can you possibly swipe me in? I just swiped on the downtown side thinking I'd be able to cross over to the uptown track.

He stares back at me--unblinking. After a few seconds of silence, I look behind me. Nope, he's staring at me.

Me: Sir?

He speaks with a very traditional Indian accent, his cadence mimicking Apu from the Simpsons. His tone mimics me at my most condescending.

MTA: Tell me. When you go to work every day, if you work on the third floor, do you forget and go to work on the second floor?

I stare back at him--unblinking.

Me: What?

MTA: When you go to work, do you---

Me: Yeah, no, I got that. But, what?

MTA: What don't you get?

Me: Your really bad analogy?

MTA: So you are not able to read signs?

I roll my eyes and exhale demonstrably. I am exactly this kind of asshole.

Me: Yes. Yes, I can read.

MTA: Then why did you go to the other side? If you could read, you wouldn't need my help.

I begin to understand why he's behind bullet-proof glass.

Me: Really? You really want to do this?

MTA: I just don't understand why.

Me: You don't understand why someone would think this subway stop would have access to both uptown and downtown service from each side? Like, you know, 75% of the other stops along this track?

MTA: You are worse than the school children that come through here! Just go. Go. Go. Go!

He swipes me in and I enter.

I have a new nemesis.


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