Happy Holidays MTA Style

This is my response to the strike: back in June, this was the greeting I received when getting off my train to go to work. This was when the MTA was NOT on strike. This was an open station.

The MTA is backwards. They are crooked. They announced a deficit, raised fares, and found a 1 billion dollar surplus. So, to 'give back' to the riders, the MTA granted us 50% off on certain days just before Christmas. Which now, with the strike, it doesn't matter. It didn't matter for me before b/c I have the 30 day 'unlimited' card (which really means every 18 minutes, so if you swipe at the wrong side, your screwed and disgruntled MTA workers won't give you a break) so we get something like 4 extra days on the card, which is bullshit because I'm not in town to spend the rides. I hate the MTA. Not the workers, although they can be pretty mean. But the corporate, or whatever they're called.

How mean can the MTA workers be? One day, I was visiting my friend at 86th Street. There were signs up saying that the trains were making express stops from street X to street Y. I didn't know where either of those streets were, so I asked the ladies in the booth if local trains were skipping local stops. This was the reply I got:

Mean Lady: (leans over to her replacement on the shift) "I'll get this one." (turns to me, through the glass case) "Read the signs!"
Me: "I did. But I don't know where those streets are. Is the Uptown local train running express?"
Mean Lady: "Read the sign!"
Me: "I DID read the sign. But I don't know where that..."
Mean Lady: "GIRL! I'm not going to BREASTfeed yoU! Read the damn signs!"
The Mean Lady came out of the glass case with her bags in hand, ready to swipe herself through the turnstyle, still yelling at me as I scampered away up the stairs.
Mean Lady: "*(&$(*&W#$!!!"
Me: "I didn't ASK you to BREASTfeed me! I asked you about the TRAINS!"
Then I ran. She still works at 86th Street on the C/B line, and I'm still scared of her.

This pretty much sums up the MTA:

This is the 23rd Street station for the 6 line running under Park Avenue. This day, the station was open. It was 9am, and no one is there. No one. And when they are there, the attendant stands outside of the booth. He's not aloud to stand inside of it and sell tickets.

I'm speechless at this. It should be noted that the union workers are losing 2 days pay for every strike day. They don't want new hires to have to pay a dime into their health care. I work in nonprofit. I do not have a very large salary, and most of it goes to pay bills. But I do contribute to my health care every paycheck. The Union wants about 8% raises each year for three years, wants to keep the retirement age at 59 for new hires, and no participation into health care.

There is gridlock on all major streets. David has to pick up a letter today in order to get into his union for film, and it's all the way downtown, which means that it might take him hours to get there. Taxis are packed, and cars outside my otherwise quiet neighborhood are honking more than usual. Oh, and it's cold (yet very sunny).

But, thankfully I am able to work from home. With my contributions into my health care, I get flexability and great people to work with. I am going to step out into the elements to go to Starbucks (if it's open) to see what's open and how people are doing. I was going to get a binkini tonight, but my girl lives in Brooklyn, so I'm not sure if she was able to make the hike to the salon in the upper west side.

I'll close with what a conductor on the A train always tells us in the morning when he reminds us to watch our packages and bags, that we are subject to random searches: Please have a safe, blessed and prosperous day.

And a final message from the subway stations: "Happy Holidays. We're on strike."