Week of July 29 – August 4, 2011
Riders this week: 13,814
Rider miles this week: 152,832
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Author Robert Caro was seen on the subway heading to Sag Harbor from East Hampton. He was sitting there reading a book.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!
Rachel Potter, the company dietician, purchasing agent and chief janitor in our Hampton Bays headquarters cafeteria, is 54 years old today. We wish her well, especially since now she can get married to her longtime companion, what’s her name.
BOXING MATCH RESULTS
The first of what are expected to be several boxing programs was held for our “pushers” in the main meeting room of our Hampton Bays offices on the second floor. The “pushers” are those 20 people we have hired for the summer who, wearing headgear, chest protectors and shin guards, help shove straphangers onto the subway cars during the rush hours. It seemed a natural thing that they might want to let off a little steam with boxing tournament.
A ring was set up. But just one bout was scheduled for our first Saturday evening matches. There had been a big controversy about whether a pusher named Natasha Bulinsky, a worker from Moscow, should be permitted to participate. She had bragged she had fought in five matches in Moscow and knew the ropes, so to speak. Those against her said she was therefore a professional. Others said let her box and see what she can do. It was decided to let her have a three round fight, so this was it.
Helen Chris, a student at Stony Brook University, said she’d be proud to take her on. And she did. All the other pushers were there. Chris knocked Bulinsky out with just one punch at the very start of the first round. It seemed a particularly light punch, just a pawing jab. All this work for just 14 seconds of boxing. Bulinsky, upon awakening, said she never said she had won any of these bouts in Moscow. She also said she hadn’t seen the punch coming.
Hampton Subway suffered a delay of 15 minutes during rush hour at our Southampton station last Tuesday when a rider could not make up her mind if she wanted to get off the arriving subway or not. She started to get off, then got off, then got back on, then off again. It’s not like in the old days where the sliding doors close slowly anyway, with a bell clanging and everything and you could lose an arm if you don’t get out of the way. With the new laser technology and the concern for personal space and lawsuits and customer safety, the doors stay open no matter what until the doorway is cleared. What finally happened here was a pusher was called over by other straphangers and when he got there, he just shoved her back into the car and that was the end of it. The delays also occurred at our other stations, since everything backs up one on another.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
We’ve made progress in learning more about this older man with the white hair, a laurel wreath on his head, white robe, beard and sandals who has been seen in the tunnels carrying a lantern.
On Thursday at 6:30 a.m., he came down the escalator, our token book clerk at the Quogue station reported, walked over to the turnstiles, swiped a card, walked across the platform and hopped down onto the tracks and headed west down the tunnel. The token booth clerk, Evelyn Weatherbee, says, she left the booth, something she was not supposed to do, and then ran on to the edge of the platform and saw from his lantern that he was now on the walking path besides the tracks heading off. So he was all right.
Our concern had been for this man’s safety, whoever he is, and where he might be staying, hopefully not in one of our filthy storehouses that open onto the tracks at various places along the way deep in the tunnels. Apparently, he has a place to sleep, somewhere.
We will need to stay vigilant. As for Weatherbee, although I understand why she left her post to see what was going on, she should not have done that. The $50 in singles that she says were taken from the till while she was gone will have to be replaced by her or, if not, deducted from her next paycheck. [/expand]