Monday, August 27, 2007

F*cking Monday, F*cking Metro

Today started so innocently. The clerk at Firehook gave me the wrong kind of tea. And then the very important package was delayed due to security, and my co-counsel was VERY CONCERNED. But I tracked it down, triumphantly.

Work was busy, and I got distracted with drafting a motion. It was going well. So well that I didn't even think to take lunch until well after 2. I quickly ate my crappy lunch, and then went back to work on the brief.

Sometime after 4, my mom called, upset, due to difficulties with her uncle, who has dementia, and who she's pretty much taking care of with very little help from anyone else in the family. So, I stopped to talk to her, and forgot to save my brief.

When I was getting ready to leave -- at a normal hour -- I printed it out. But I noticed a typo, so I went to reopen it and fix it.

It wasn't there, surprise, surprise.

But at least I had a hard copy. So I spent the next couple of hours reconstructing it from the hard copy (read: retyping every word and every single legal citation). All this while my next-door office neighbor entertained his very young son. It was, well, distracting.

Finally, at around 8 pm, I finished. I made sure to save my work this time. And then I painstakingly assembled the motion, brief, exhibits, and proposed order to be filed tomorrow morning. I recycled my last Diet Coke can, and headed out the door.

Of course, that meant heading out to Metro, which, unbeknownst to me, was pretty much shut down -- again. First they said it was just green and yellow lines. But that's easy for me: I can take blue. So, I went to Metro Center, and hopped on a blue line train.

That was the worst decision I made all day. I should have taken a cab. You see, the blue line trains were all stopping at Arlington Cemetery -- which, in the dark, is not an easy walk to my apartment.

But Metro was running shuttle buses, right? Well, yes -- at least that's what they were announcing. Too bad the station manager had no idea what we were talking about, or any clue where to direct us. So there we were, hundreds of people waiting around at Arlington Cemetery. The crowd was insane, and enraged.

Finally, two buses pulled up -- on what was, logically speaking, the wrong side of the street (i.e. heading back towards D.C.). All of a sudden, people ran across four lanes of traffic, and were pushing and shoving to get on the buses. Some small kid almost got trampled. And the bus drivers weren't sure where they were supposed to go at first. So the buses just sat there, full of people.

The crowd was getting restless. People were yelling. The touristy girls near me were amused, they kept taking pictures with their cell phone cameras. I actually said to them to not take a picture of me, because my day had been bad enough. (I did, however, quietly suggest that they take a picture of the crazy guy in the ill-fitting suit who was kneeling on his bus seat pretending that the window was a piano, playing along to whatever crazy music he was listening to on his headphones. I'm not sure if they took my advice.)

Later, much later, the shuttle bus pulled up to Pentagon City. There were firetrucks everywhere, and the traffic was busy for this time of night. Once I got into the mall, pretty much everything except McDonald's was already closed.

I walked the rest of the way home, and got in my apartment about 15 minutes ago. Just long enough to have flipped open the computer and written this. I haven't eaten, and I'm in need of a shower from the whole experience. But instead, I'm going to sleep early, just to make sure that today can't get any worse.

Thank god for Tuesdays.


Paige Jennifer said...

Yeah, um, this take 'oy' to an entirely new level.

Anonymous said...

This story is incorrect. My flight arrived at 10:30 last night at National, and by the time I got my bag, it was around 11:00. When I got to the Metro, the damned thing was closed. They crowded us onto shuttle buses to L'Enfant, and I saw many other shuttles coming in as I waited for the 14th Street bus to take me on the rest of my journey. Missed seeing the on-fire one though.

dara said...

PJ: It sucks. I mean, part of it is that I don't live in the city, and have to bridge or tunnel home -- whether it be by train, bus, or cab. But Monday night's chaos was unprecedented, at least in my 7 years of being a metro rider.

Anonymous: I stand by my story -- it is exactly what happened to me while traveling from downtown DC back into Arlington on Monday night at 8, just without the part where I muttered "Fuck" over and over again for an hour.

Although perhaps you mean that the Post's story is incorrect? I have no knowledge one way or another on that, and tend to believe that Metro's spokespeople tend to make problems seem less than they are.