OVERKILL

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No one can criticize the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) for not giving enough notice about this weekend’s subway closure, and replacement shuttle buses.  They closed the Yonge Line from Finch to Lawrence for track maintenance.  This past week they announced, 450 million times, about the subway closure and replacement shuttle buses.  They also posted signs in all the subway stations.  It was announced on the news and notices printed in the newspapers.  No one could say that he or she did not know.

When I got off the 36 Finch bus at the Finch station, a TTC helper yelled, “THE SUBWAY IS CLOSED.  SOUTHBOUND SHUTTLE BUSES ARE THAT WAY.”

(The TTC hires helpers to assist with special events and subway closures.  The helpers wear red aprons with an “i” logo for Information.)

Behind the shouting TTC helper was a red fluorescent sign showing where to board the shuttle buses.

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Of course it was not the only sign.  The TTC covered almost all available space on walls, pillars, and windows with 450 million signs stating that the subway was closed, and showing where to get shuttle buses.

The Finch station has four levels.  The first level is the street/bus level.  The second level is a passageway.  The third level has washrooms and newsstands.  The fourth level has the tracks for the subways.  (Did I mention that the subway was closed?)

I needed to use the washroom so I walked towards the stairwell from the first level to the second.  A helper at the top of the stairs shouted, “SIR, THE SUBWAY IS CLOSED.  SOUTHBOUND SHUTTLE BUSES ARE THAT WAY.”

“I know,” I said, “I have to use the washroom.”

“Oh,” said the helper, “it’s downstairs on the third level.”

“Yes, I know.  Thanks.”

I got to the bottom of the stairs of the passageway.

“SIR, THE SUBWAY IS CLOSED.  SOUTHBOUND SHUTTLE BUSES ARE UPSTAIRS.”

“I know, I have to use the washroom.”

“Oh, it’s downstairs that way.”

“Yes, I know.  Thanks.”

I got to the other end of the passageway, passing lots of red fluorescent signs, to the stairwell from the passageway to the third level.

“SIR, THE SUBWAY IS CLOSED.  SOUTHBOUND SHUTTLE BUSES ARE BACK THAT WAY UP THE STAIRS.”

“Yes, I know.  I have to use the washroom.”

“Oh, it’s down the stairs that way.”

“Yes, thanks.”

I walked towards the washroom which is near stairs leading to the fourth level.  Of course there was another  TTC helper eager to do her job.

‘SIR, THE SUBWAY IS CLOSED.  SOUTHBOUND SHUTTLE BUSES ARE BACK THAT WAY UP THE STAIRS.”

“Yes, I know.  I have to use the washroom.”

“Oh, it’s right there,” she said as she turned and pointed.

How nice of her to point to the washroom.  I wasn’t sure where it was.

When I left the washroom, she looked at me and said, “Oh, you came out.”

I looked at my feet, legs, hands, arms and torso and realized that she was right.  I had come out of the washroom.

Then she shouted, “THE SUBWAY IS CLOSED.  SOUTHBOUND SHUTTLE BUSES ARE THAT WAY UP THE STAIRS.”

Yes, thanks.  I know.”

And each TTC helper I passed along the way, from the washroom to the shuttle bus, shouted the same words.

Perhaps it was not overkill.  Perhaps the TTC knows that human beings don’t always carry their brains, and will still get lost no matter how much guidance they receive.

 

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About Gary Johnston

I am an imaginary number -- a symbol used to count and measure. As Senior Imaginary Number at Einstein Equations Incorporated, I facilitate the calculation of the impossible.

Posted on October 23, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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