Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Amtrak has officially made my enemies list. It's no wonder the company is bleeding money... it's as if they're making an effort to drive customers away.
I spent the weekend visiting my friend in Alexandria, VA (which is less than 15 minutes outside of DC). I took the (very expensive) train down there on Friday after work, and planned on taking a 4:36pm train back to NYC on Sunday. I got to the station at 4:15, and the announcer said that another train making the same exact stops was arriving in 2 minutes. I went to the ticket counter and asked if my train was running on time, and after being told it was about 20 minutes late, asked if I could switch to the other train... the ticket seller said yes and made the switch.
When the new train pulled up, I got on board, the conductor tore my ticket, and I proceeded to sit for 25 minutes on an unmoving, un-air-conditioned train. Nobody bothered to tell explain the delay to the passengers. Sweaty passengers started trickling off the train, and I followed, where I found the conductor telling people that the train's engine had died and that it would take at least an hour to replace it. I asked him if I could switch back to my original train, which hadn't yet arrived, but was told no because I was now a ticketed passenger on this one. I argued that we hadn't gone anywhere yet and that nobody had told me I was switching to a broken train... no dice. He even laughed at me and said this is what happens when I try to be "sneaky."
Finally the original train pulled up and had to tow us to DC. We got there at 6:45pm. Then the original train left, and we sat in a still-un-air-conditioned train for another hour until the engine was fixed.
Finally, we were on our way... until the dragging detector was set off just past Wilmington and the train had to stop so that conductor could check to make sure we weren't dragging anything. Of course we were not.
Original train ETA: 8:59pm.
Actual arrival in NYC: 11:45pm.

For reference, here's the rest of my enemies list:
- AOL: see why here
- programmers of iPod's shuffle mode: since when does shuffle mean that with over 6,000 songs and hundreds of artists, I should get 2 songs from the same album every dozen songs?
- P. Diddy: for tainting countless classic songs by grunting "uh" and "yeah" over them, and raking in countless millions of dollars in the process
- my landlord: for taking 6 months to fix my collapsing ceiling and wall

- MTA: for all the times they've stopped in the middle of a tunnel when I know there is no possible way there's a train in front of it because I had to wait 20 minutes for the train I'm on to arrive
- Red Sox: for reasons obvious to any Yankee fan
- city of Los Angeles: for being completely undesirable for me to live there, hoarding all the great writing jobs and causing too many of my NY friends to move out there
- China Regency restaurant: for giving me food poisoning back in October '97
- my mailman: for not yet realizing that DVDs do not fit into my mailbox and that forcing them in until they crack is not a viable option

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