Crisis and The Office Part 1: The Commute
Since I'm in the middle of a gigantic life crisis I've decided to write about something that I was talking with my dear friend P- about on the phone while helping her through her gigantic life crisis. I figure it is always best to go through a good crisis with those that you love deeply, even when it's those that you love deeply who are currently instigating the crisis.
And with that cryptic comment, a story set in
p.s. For those of you helping, talking, or generally being there through aforementioned crisis, much thanks. I owe you all alcohol poisoning or chocolate. Take your pick.
The Office: Part 1 The Commute
It had been a few months into my second contract with The Village (which actually is as ominous sounding, but tediously uneventful as a movie of the same name) when I decided I was miserably unhappy and that either quitting or a huge change were the only means by which I could fix the problem. My director, bless his sweet heart, had been trying for a while to get me to commit to a curriculum writing project for a The Village: The Sequel and I had been adamantly refusing to do so because I did not want to work at The Sequel. However, after lots of going back and forth on the issue I finally decided that perhaps this was the change I was looking for and agreed to being pulled out of most, if not all, classes to write program for The Sequel.
For a while I split my time between a modest amount of teaching (and compared to the other teachers it was an insultingly modest amount I realize, only about 3 hours for their 6 to 8 a day) and the rest of the time writing (and in all fairness the other teachers were never asked to write three hundred pages in a week, so nyah!) I did the writing in the teachers lounge, taking up a valuable resource for the better part of the eight hour day. It was annoying for a lot of people and not in the least my back which, after spending the better part of six hours sitting on top of my ass in a flimsy white plastic lawn chair, was killing me. Since The Sequel programming was progressing to the point where more speedy feedback was required from me it was discussed, and I agreed, to moving to the head office location to continue with the program writing. In all honesty my hope was for a real office chair and to reduce the stress I was putting on the teachers by taking up a computer and never doing any class time, I hoped that it might solve those problems quickly. Ah, for silly blind hopes in
Among the concessions that I made for this transition was an honest to goodness commute from my place outside
The train started to fill up rather quickly, even frighteningly so, but it was not too bad, even at the early hour. I tried my best to get lost in my book. Having experience commuting on busy trains in
I set off up one set of stairs, down another and now was positioned on the correct platform for the subway train I needed to take to the head office. I waited. About ten minutes later I saw the train on approach and gathered myself together for getting on the train. It moved slowly, almost ominously to the platform. Then it stopped. I noted that the door was slightly below the platform level before the doors slid open. Then I looked into the train.
It was not packed. Packed implies there might have been some breathing room on the train, a place to stand, a place to move about a little. No, this train was not packed. It was not full, or busy, or cramped. It was, in fact I think I need to invent a word to describe it fully, it was overfucked. It was so overfucked that you could have walked across the tops of heads without any fear of falling, if you could have walked in the less then minute crawl space above the Korean heads. Perhaps you might have crawled, more likely slithered, but either way you would not have touched the ground in that overfucked train.
The Koreans started to spill out like vomit from the mouths of Korean college students in the morning. The movement was so fast, so furious, that Koreans grabbed onto the silver poles as they were literally twisted into bizarre floating horizontal figures by the moving hordes. The Koreans spilled out and the level of the train began to rise. As the flow finally started to abate, only abate mind you, not stop, Koreans waiting to get on the line started to push in. Now in
I had been commuting at this point for a little over an hour and a half and still had a cab ride to go to get to the office.
And if you would like to find out how this ends, tune in soon at the same Korea-time to the same Korea-channel and I'll give you the rest of the story.