Monday through Friday, I take the subway to work. Los Angeles does not have an extensive subway system so I am lucky to live and work near stops because, man oh man, I sure do hate driving in this city. On the few occasions that I do take the car to work, I am white-knuckled and pissed-off by the time I get there despite it being a mere five mile commute.
However, just because I manage to avoid the douchbaggery of LA’s streets and highways doesn’t mean that my trip in to work via the Red Line is frustration free. You see, there is a woman, a woman who drives me crazy.
I get off at the Universal City stop to get to my job on the Universal lot. This location has four levels: subway platform, ticketing level, pick-the-way-you-wanna-go level and street level. The pick-the-way-you-wanna-go level gives you the option of going left or right to wind up on different sides of the street (left takes you out across from the studio, right takes you to where there are a bunch of bus stops). There is an elevator that goes from the ticketing level all the way up to the street across from the studio; it also has an option of stopping at the pick-the-way-you-want-to-go level. However, people don’t do this because — other than folks with medical issues, carrying a bunch of stuff or pushing a stroller — it is insanely lazy to take an elevator up one teeny-tiny singular floor. This is especially true when you consider that there are escalators available for those who just want to go up one level.
So yeah, no one does this. No one, that is, except for my subway nemesis: Lady Quick Feet. Señora de los Pies Rápidos.
There’s a strategy to getting out of the subway quickly. You figure out which compartment lets you out closest to the escalator that leads up from the subway platform. There’s also a set of stairs that will bring you even closer to the turnstiles, closer to the ticketing level escalators/elevator, closer to freedom. So it boils down to a decision of: huff it up the stairs and be closer to the turnstiles or huff it up the escalator and count on the extra time you earned on the escalator putting you out ahead of the stairs people. Me, I opt for the escalator and rely on my long strides and generally brisk walking pace to put me ahead of the subway hoard. It really sucks getting stuck behind them — people stand side by side on the escalator, blocking those who want to walk up them. People walk side by side up the stairs, blocking those who climb them faster. So you definitely want get out ahead of the pack if you are someone like me: a person who is DRIVEN ABSOLUTELY INSANE when made to walk slow. Seriously, just thinking about strolling makes me twitch. I have places to be, people. Get out of my fucking way.
I used to take the escalator up. Not just standing on it though, mind you, but climbing (just thinking of standing on it makes me twitchy too — for both the I GOTTA BE SOMEWHERE YO reason and because escalators are evil). However, a guy with a bike on his shoulder started to habitually get ahead of me and slow everything down.
So I began to take the elevator. Most days, it is wonderful. Just ZOOM and there I am, right across from work. No muss, no fuss, no evil moving stairs. However, I began to notice a woman who often would appear with me on the elevator: a short Hispanic lady with hair that was always in a braid, feet that were always quick and fingers that were always pushing the pick-the-way-you-want-to-go level button. Why, Señora de los Pies Rápidos? WHY?! DO YOU LIVE JUST TO TORMENT ME?!
‘Maybe she has a medical issue,’ you say. No, she RUNS for the elevator. From the moment she gets to the top of the escalator up from the subway platform, she SPRINTS for the turnstiles and elevator. I’m pretty sure that she is fit as a fiddle.
‘Maybe it is quicker for her to take the elevator,’ you offer. Sure, maybe some days this is true. However, that only counts when the car is waiting for us at the ticketing level. When the elevator is already on its way up — or is hanging out at the street level — it is definitely quicker to take the escalator even if you just stand on it rather than climb. But no, she will wait for the elevator no matter what.
‘Maybe she is scared of escalators just as you are,’ you propose. What is wrong with you? Why do you keep defending her? I will point out that she takes the escalator up from the subway platform so fear isn’t an issue. Therefore, I think we can all agree that she is AWFUL and must be stopped.
Not only is she horrible for involving everyone else in her up-one-floor laziness, she is horrible because she will NOT hold the elevator for anyone else running for it and she is a button pusher. She gets into the elevator, presses the floor button .. and then keeps pressing it over and over again until the car stops where she needs to get off. This is annoying for two reasons:
1. Pushing the button repeatedly will not make the elevator go any faster.
Don’t even argue with me. It won’t go faster so just .. stop. Stop being stupid. This goes for cross-walk buttons as well.
2. What pushing the button repeatedly WILL do is make the street level button eventually turn off.
There have been a few times when I wasn’t paying attention and this happened, sending me and the other normal people back down to the ticketing level. RAZZUM FRAZZUM.
For a long, long time, I thought that I was alone in my utter (but quietly contained) rage over this woman’s habits but the other morning, I noticed someone give her the side-eye when she pressed the pick-the-way-you-want-to-go level button. Then he shook his head when she got off. When the doors closed behind her and we continued on up to the street, he bellowed out in exasperation: WHY DOES SHE DO THAT?! Everyone — and I do mean everyone — in the car began to excitedly share their incredulity. The guy apologized in advance when he told us: If I see her coming, I am going to hit the ‘close door’ button. Don’t take it personally that I am not holding the car for you. I won’t, dude, because I will be doing the exact same thing when I am in those shoes.
Does that make me a bad person?