Thursday, October 14, 2004

Harold and Modernization

Technology is great; I adore it…so much so the kind folks at the Apple Store have a restraining order pending against me for licking the windows in front of their new iPods.

There are some times though, where the “old fashioned” way, though not as slick and modern does hold a great deal of value.

This all comes about through a conversation I had with a fellow passenger on the commute in this morning; hearing the REAL voice announcement informing us that we would be waiting at Belmont for train ahead to clear, my seatmate commented “That’s Harold, he used to be great! You’d get a big ol’ GOOD MORNING out of him, the time, weather, even a “Happy Friday” occasionally. Can you believe the CTA actually wrote him up for being pleasant?”

*for the non-Chicago readers, the Chicago Transit Authority brought into commission a recorded voice to announce the stops, which side the doors open on etc. to replace the engineers doing such.

It was shocking to me that a “humanistic touch” was apparently not only a bother to the bureaucracy of the CTA, but something to be sought out and reprimanded (Watch out independent thought alarm!)

I think back to when I first got to Chicago (in the days when the train was $1.50, there were no card machines and you could buy tokens at the stations!) and do remember one particular engineer, his catchphrase was Step Up, Step Down, Doors Are A Closin’. Though I do not miss the other drivers as much, their pronunciation being a backwards recording of a Judas Priest album on a good day… it WAS nice to have that personality on the other side of the speaker. So, at least for today my cyber-side is somewhat in check…once Tiger launches however, it’s back to endless and shameless drooling at the altar of the big red fruit!

6 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

I remember that guy-

"This is a Red Line to 95th, step up, step in, doors are closing."

My favorite conductor in ANY city EVER.

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