I’m an auditor by trade. Risk assessments, critical paths and determining “worst case scenarios” are what I do best. This Monday morning, after deciding for the first time to get additional rest on the train (despite coming off a 4-day weekend), I determined my worst case scenario was falling asleep on the commuter rail. It’s a very safe environment and I was riding to the end of the line. Being compromised or missing my stop were low risks and therefore, not a concern.
In hindsight, one can always learn from these types of drills. I’ll start with the positives: fellow commuters let you do your own thing and respect your space, neck pillows really are comfortable for resting in transit, moms watch out for one another. On the flip side, I did not wake up when I hit the end of the line. Lessons learned for next time (if there is one) include setting an alarm for the trains scheduled arrival, being coherent enough to thank the last departing passenger (an Asian mom with two in tow) for waking me up and doing a sleep study to determine if I snore.
After wiping the sleep from my eyes and buying my monthly pass at North Station, I picked up the rainy green line for a straight shot to the office. I was pulled from my novel landscape when the one I was sitting in came to a standstill at Park Street. My powers of observation told me it was a disabled, wheel-chair bound man trying to make his way onto the already crowded train. His path was more critical than my own as he told people where and how to step aside, so that he could maneuver his chair into the handicapped section of the subway car. He was headed to Mass General Hospital (MGH). My worst case scenario was nothing compared to this person having to navigate the underground during a rainy rush hour. My newest concern was for him and as far as trades go, I did not want to switch places with him.