It was a slow afternoon in the office. Pretty standard these days. Whenever a customer calls, I get super excited for human interaction, even though the majority of the time customers call only when something is wrong. This particular customer though was very friendly. And very chatty. She told me about her kids and how she doesn’t understand technology. I reassured her that I’d be her go-to. After I hung up with her, I looked over at the time. “4:03,’ I thought to myself, “Sweet. My train leaves in ten minutes.” Then there was that pause. That realization of, “SHiT MY TRAIN LEAVES IN TEN MINUTES!” The excitement to the end of my work day quickly turned into panic. If I miss the 4:13 train, the next one isn’t for another hour. And instead of a forty-five minute train ride, it would be an hour and twenty minutes. I fumbled with my keyboard, frantically trying to log off my computer. Only Murphy could have predicted this would happen. I shoved my wallet and phone into my purse, clocked out, then ran.
I refused to miss that train.
Oglivie is three blocks from where I work. Three city blocks. And now it was 4:08.
Accumulated on the first intersection stood tourist unsure of their whereabouts. A group of five young people pointing in different directions, yelling at each other, trying to find a location I could only guess was either Union Station or Oglivie. They needed a bar, though.
The light changed, and I ran down two blocks to the second intersection, only to get caught by the light. I thought about jetting across the street until I glanced to my right to notice a CTA bus running a red light. Typical.
I still had to cross the street, run up the stairs, and get to my train. This might not end well. See, the thing about the Metra: if you are not on the train at 4:12 and 59 seconds, you miss the train. 4:13 means doors closed and moving. On the dot. No excuses. Play like a champion? 4:13 and 1 second? You’re late. Bye bye choo choo train, and hello to waiting an hour for the next one.
As soon as the light changed to yellow, i bolted, pushed through the revolving doors which I’m terrified to get stuck in (because they just randomly stop, I know. Makes total sense), as I’m pushing through the door, I see “4:12” on the clock inside Oglivie.
I run through the station, up the escalator, yelling “ON THE LEFT” Seriously, I do not understand why people stand on the left side of escalators. Slow pokes on the right please. I push through another set of revolving doors, run down three tracks over to “Track 13.” The conductor standing in the vestibule of the train recognizes me and yells “hurry up!” I ran into the last car of the train as the doors close behind me. I pull out my phone to see it change from 4:12 to 4:13.
“Close one today.” He smiled, then gave me a high five.