A Job Well Done

two pilots flying an airplane

Photo by KML on Pexels.com

You know that part of the airplane journey where the captain comes on over the loudspeaker and tells you about the flight you are going to take. The Captain predicts the flying time, claims that we are going to be early if the tower lets us leave on time,  and then makes some jokes about the food.  At the end of the flight, the captain later comes on and thanks you for flying with that particular airline, informs you of the current temperature and bids you a final goodbye.

I do enjoy these rituals of flight. They get me excited for my destination and let me know that something different is happening.  I guess it is similar to hearing the “start your engines” call at a car race.  Maybe it is not dissimilar to the advisory when getting on a scary amusement park ride.  Something different is about to happen.

Today, I heard one of those announcements in a rather unusual place. I was on the subway, slowly creeping towards my destination when the voice over the PA system said something like

Attention ladies and gentlemen. We are approaching Finch station.  We will be arriving shortly.  On behalf of the TTC, my driving partner, and myself, I want to wish you a wonderful evening.

I was a bit dumbfounded. The usual TTC voice is a disinterested one that can barely pronounce all the syllables in the station names.  My students often remark that when they can understand the TTC driver’s announcements, they will feel very confident in their English.

I am not entirely sure why I am drawn to this moment or why it is Today’s Perfect Moment except to say that I can appreciate it when someone does their job well–above and beyond what is expected of them. I also like being reminded that I am going to get on a plane in a few weeks and depart for a warmer climate.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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5 Responses to A Job Well Done

  1. Jinjer says:

    That definitely would’ve surprised me as well! It’s been almost 4 years since I’ve been on the subway in L.A. but if I recall correctly, the station announcements and things are recorded, mechanical announcements and just say something like “Now arriving, Hollywood & Highland”. And it is hard to hear the announcement so if I’m not paying attention I am frantically scanning my eyes around the station as we approach to see which one it is. Luckily each one is decorated differently. LOL Once I tried asking, out loud “What station is this???” but all I got were blank, disinterested, “don’t talk to strangers” stares in return.

    • Anthony says:

      Actually, the next day the voice was quite nice as well and the goodbye message just as nice. We used to have recorded messages, but something has changed.
      As for the passengers, while most of us are in our little world; reading, listening to music, or playing some silly timewaster game on our phones, most Torontonians are quite friendly and able to engage in conversation on the subway. I have met many interesting people who were happy to briefly chat. Even yesterday an elderly woman spent a few minutes talking about the confusing subway station. She blamed it on age. We reassured her that the station was indeed very confusing thanks to poor renovations.

      • Jinjer says:

        Do you have a lot of homeless and mentally ill people on your subways? We do in L.A. Lord I will never forget this one guy who was asking for money and he said he needed the money for chemo and he was wearing a hospital gown and I forget if he had an actual IV needle in his arm. It was so shocking and horrifying and unexpected it’s like “Did I really see that or dream it?” But no, I really saw it. Yah, fun times on the L.A. subway.

      • Anthony says:

        There are definitely a number of mentally ill people on the subway, but I don’t think it is extreme and only rarely have I seen anything remotely close to violent. Mostly I have seen people talking to themselves–though we had a case on my bus where a woman used some rather outrageous language and I thought might erupt into violence–I suspect she had Tourette’s, but I am not sure.
        Homeless people are in the subway system, but not as many as I thought would be there. Generally they stay outside the gates to ask for money. Though I have seen one woman wander the subway mumbling “give me money, I am hungry” Having heard of the Shaky Lady (a successful fraudster for many years who took in 400 dollars a day by shaking up and down outside the mall) I think most people feel this is a con.
        All and all, if you take public transport, you are going to see things. I tend to enjoy the slightly off to the completely strange. I saw one guy wearing hockey gloves on the bus. No other hockey equipment, so I suspect he had nothing else to keep warm.

      • Jinjer says:

        I don’t object to the homeless riding the rails because where else are they to get warm in winter and cool in summer, but it is annoying when you want to sit down and can’t because they’re sleeping across the entire row of seats. But again, where else are they supposed to sleep? I’d be doing the same thing if I was homeless. The mentally ill people and people on drugs are pretty scary for me, traveling alone. I try to avoid eye contact. I saw a lady who was minding her own business get spit on at a bus stop by a guy that was either on drugs or mentally ill. She wasn’t talking to him, looking at him, nothing. He just walked by ranting and raving and spit on her. Ugh. I wish they subways and bus stops would have more of a police presence or something to prevent the scary people from scaring us. LOL

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