Do 10 year olds write your signs?

February 12, 2008

The subway system in NYC is old and decrepit in many areas of the city.  The weekends are notorious for shutting down train lines for construction.  This past weekend was probably one of the worst weekends since I have been here.  I think every line was having construction done on it, so it was pretty frustrating getting around.  The A by my house was one such train, so the slow train was replaced by an even slower bus that had to navigate traffic.  Though the 1 train is in my neighborhood, I decided to take the A, because I was wearing heels and didn’t feel like taking the 10 minute walk to the 1 train.  That was a mistake.  It took me 30 minutes to go 2 miles! I finally got off and walked to the 1.
After my evening in Midtown, I decided I would take the 1 train back up to my place to avoid the shuttle bus and just suffer the walk in my heels (I have no idea how women in this city live in heels all day. Just cut my feet off).  At 50th street, I decided to grab the 1.  As I walked up to the entrance, I found it taped off and a sign stating that the 1 was not stopping between 42nd st and 96th! (meaning, you could get NO WHERE in Midtown on the 1, leaving only the C train running – again, slow) Now this was not just any old sign.  This sign was a piece of 8.5×11 printer paper. You might assume that if printer paper is being used, that perhaps one might actually print a sign.  That, however, would be a false assumption. Alas, not from our trusty Metropolitan Transit Authority.  No, this was a hand written sign – a 2 cent ball point pen was used to write a sign in horrible block lettering to inform passengers that they needed to take circuitous route to find a train that would actually take them somewhere.  I could barely read the writing. You know how when you’re learning to write on unlined paper, like when you’re 10, you tend to not write in a straight line and you always run out of space at the end of your line so you scrunch all the letters together to make them fit? And you know how it’s pretty illegible? Yeah, that was this sign.  Apparently the MTA employs 10 year olds to write their signs.

Fortunately, I know to read 10 year old writing (my husband often accuses me of such writing), so I found my way – though the 5 mile trip did take an hour.  But, again, those poor tourists! If I could barely read it, how can a non-native speaker figure out how to navigate Midtown, the largest tourist area?!  Geez.

As a side note, the MTA is talking about raising fares because they don’t have enough money – well, yesterday while visiting a friend who lives on Central Park South, we entered the elevator with the owner/president of MTA.  Apparently, he lives on an entire floor of this building where my friend pays $2500 a month for a small studio apartment.  I can only imagine what that guy pays in rent.  I have a suggestion – save some money and move!  Oh yeah, and offer convenient service to your passengers and clean train stops – then we might be willing to pay a little extra.

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One Response to “Do 10 year olds write your signs?”

  1. Terry Finley Says:

    It’s just as true down in my
    neck of the woods.

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