About a year ago, my friend "Ron"(not his real name) left the conductor ranks and switched over to the cushy life of an engineer. After spending a year in class, he recently graduated, qualified and became an official big "E." I bumped into him the other night and asked how he liked his new occupation."
"Oh, it's great," he said, "I love it."
"I bet you don't miss dealing with the passengers?" I asked.
"Oh I'm still dealing with them," he said. "Wait till you hear this one..." .
Ron went on to to tell me about a drunk woman that was on his train the previous evening. He said that she spent the better part of the ride pacing, barefoot, up and down the aisle of the head car and talking to herself. When the train pulled into New Haven (the last stop) she staggered up to the head end of the train and pounded on the the engineer's cab door.
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
Ron opened the door...
"Are you the conductor or the engineer?"
"I'm the engineer."
"Well then...Why didn't you stop the train on the platform?"
"M'am, we have a 10 car train tonight, and this is an eight car platform. If you had listened to the announcements, you would have known that you have to walk back two cars to exit."
Now the woman seemed stumped, not sure of what to complain about next....
"Why is the floor on this train so filthy?"
"Well m'am, It's late in the day and the car cleaners haven't had a chance to mop the floors in a while. And besides... it isn't very sanitary for you to walk these floors barefoot."
Ron walked off the train and down the platform, but the woman was right on his heels.
"Hey, who taught you how to drive?"
When Ron turned around, the woman was pointing to the gap between the train and the platform.
"Look how far the train is from the curb!...I'm going to write a letter to the railroad and complain about this!"
Somehow Ron kept his compusure...
"You do that m'am, and, whatever you do, don't forget the part about the train being too far from the curb."