From City To is thrilled to bring you our latest blogging collaboration with humor writer, Dan Bova. We hope you enjoy his From City To humor as much as we do. Currently Dan is a producer at The Alec Baldwin Show and editorial director of digital content at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim and Spy magazine. You can check out more of his humor writing at Planet Bova.
Don’t worry, here’s how to stop the train from being a pain.
So you’re considering moving to the ‘burbs and probably have a big question on your mind: is this commute going to turn me into an insane person?
Short answer: yes.
Longer answer: If you let it.
It’s all about your mindset. For sure you will face delays, overcrowded cars, people who clip their nails in public and other such delights. But you have a choice: focus on the good things (hey, you’re allowed to drink beer on the train!), or become the subject of a viral video entitled “Crazy Dude Gets Tasered After Freaking Out On Lady Playing Taylor Swift Too Loud on Her Earbuds.”
If you want to avoid taking a seat on the crazy train, my first piece of advice is to skip The Quiet Car. If you don’t know what that is, The Quiet Car is a car on the train that is designated as, well, quiet. (Note to whoever named it: Dude, you totally nailed it!). In The Quiet Car, you’re not supposed to talk on your cell phone, or to anyone around you, or breath or blink too loudly. Do so at your own risk! People who ride in The Quiet Car people are heavily armed with “Shushes” and they deal them out like a ninja with a pocket full of throwing stars and a couple of hours to kill. My wife once got shushed for eating pretzels in the Quiet Car that were deemed too crunchy. At 7 PM! Is that what you want to be when you grow up? The person who shakes their finger at these damn kids and their salty snacks? In the commuting game, you don’t want to be on team Quiet Car.
Another common issue with the train that can send you into a tailspin: overcrowding. You get on and find that the only place to sit is the middle seat between two gigantic dudes. I know your feet might be hurting, but I’ll take throbbing feet over touching thighs any day of the week. And think of it this way: a good standing desk will run you $400-$500 bucks. You’re getting a standing commute at no extra cost! And if you do get a seat and want to keep the one next to you open? Time to work on those acting skills. I should get an Emmy for last week’s portrayal of Sniffling Man Who Might Throw Up. It was a tour de force.
Trains get delayed for all kinds of reasons: snow, rains, a steady breeze. At first, that can be frustrating, but then I always ask myself, “Am I really in that much of a rush to get to work? What am I missing exactly? The chance to do more work?” Use the stuck-in-the-tunnel time to read a book, listen to a podcast, or better yet, stare out the window completely brain dead. It’s a rare moment in an adult’s life when you are not expected to do anything, say anything or contribute to society in any meaningful way. Cherish it!
The truth is, your commute will have its rough patches, but all in all it’s pretty good and beats the heck out of driving in traffic.
So here’s my final piece of advice: don’t tell anyone that it’s not that bad. If you’re like me, most of the people you work with live in Manhattan or Brooklyn. To them, anyplace else is “Upstate New York”. Sure I have a five-minute walk to my train station, and a 30-minute ride into Grand Central, but my coworkers don’t know that. In their minds, I live on top of a mountain surrounded by wild animals and these weird things called “trees.” So at the slightest wisp of snow, I can fire off an “It’s a white-out up here, I’m going to hunker down and work from home. Pray for me!” email. And guess what? They buy it every time! You know what’s better than a beer on the train? A beer on your couch.