For those of you who don’t know me, I started working in NYC last month. I travel from Jersey everyday Monday-Friday on the train. I usually listen to my headphones and don’t bother with the crowded people around me as it’s early and it’s hot and everyone is sweating and smelly, etc.
A year or two ago, I read an article where a man in my field said “Don’t listen to your headphones in public places. You never know what networking opportunities you may be missing by being anti-social.” I had thought about it yesterday morning and I realized he was right. I am a very social person and have no problem talking to anyone so I decided to ditch the headphones.
The next thing that happened was magical…
There were these two obnoxious women sitting on the train doing nothing but complaining. At first, I was thinking “Just put your headphones in and drown out these hags” but then the one said something that I couldn’t resist; they had me intrigued. The one says to the other “Your daughter stayed home again today from work?” The other responded, “Yes. She has been working in the city for months now and she works for her employer everyday. Not once has her employer ever bought her lunch. She can’t be expected to spend 10+ dollars in the city everyday for lunch. What other choice does she have? I just can’t believe her employer doesn’t buy them lunch everyday. Like I said, she works there 8+ hours a day. What is she going to do” The two ladies just sat there, looking at each other in confusion. It was clear neither of them had any idea of what the daughter could do.
I thought I was being punked at first. I was waiting for the cameras to come out with Ashton Kutcher. But they were both serious and neither of them had a solid answer on what the daughter could do. So as we are getting off the train, I look down at the women and I said, because god forbid I ever keep my mouth shut, “It’s called peanut butter and jelly. Tell her to try brining lunch from home. What a crazy concept right?”
And I smiled and walked off the train. From that point on, my new piece, #TrainStories was born. I am going to not use my headphones everyday and listen to conversations overheard on the train and I may or may not say something but I will update you to the outrageous conversations and comments I hear. I am taking one for the team and sacrificing my music time to dig deep in the trenches of the NJ transit train system.
Please, feel free to help me by adding your own comments and stories of the crazy things you hear. I would love the feedback and story-telling.