Friday, October 03, 2008

Overheard on the Subway

I was on an R train the other night, and a young woman behind me asked if she was heading in the right direction. A few people reassured her that she was, and one man continued to talk to her, in a strong Brooklyn accent. I'm not sure exactly how he got onto the subject, but he began telling her that he had worked at the World Trade Center site for 13 hours that day, and that he'd be going back to work 13 more hours the next day. He then proceeded to tell her that he was going to take the test to become a police officer, and that he'd been in the army. Then he announced that his rent was $18,000 a year, and that the GI Bill gave him $1,300 a month just for being in school, and that he also got a Pell grant.
The woman never really seemed to have much to say in response, though perhaps I couldn't hear her-- the guy's voice was quite booming and I'm sure the whole train car could hear him. By the time I got off the train, he was still yacking away, about how he wanted to start his own business, making a line of hip-hop clothing. "I'm too old for that stuff," he said, "but the kids would buy it." I'm sure if I'd gone a few more stops, I would have learned even more details about this man's finances and career ambitions! You never know what you're going to get on the New York City subway!


Anonymous said...

Makes me think of the FBI exam which has a lot of questions pertaining listening to strangers conversations, or if you tune them out.

Anyways. I'm glad to hear our military veterens are being taken care of. I have two brothers who are mariences but out of the service, they had the same opportunities but did not use the resources. If someone is going to school after the military, these GI programs are excellent.

Under the next president, I hope they increase helping vets and one day the military branches will be looked upon as the elite insitutions such as our ivy league schools.

That being said, I'm afraid until some searious changes are made, the military will continue to pick from the bottle of the barrel and not produce as many people as the guy you heard on the train, with going to school and educating himself.

If you took the time to write about this, why not add an opinion rather than cough it up as "you never know what you'll hear on a NYC subway".

I live here and trust me I heard more interesting stuff than that on the subway.

Gord said...

My guess is the guy is very insecure in his new civilian environment and looking for someone, anyone, to just say, "Good for you; you're on the right track." And the least we can do for a vet is just that; encouragement. I'm sure it can be a bewildering change from taking orders in a very structured organization to contemplating creating a new business.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this thing called Ann Coulter on Fox News and I just want to vent.

I have never been so revolted by another human being (thing) such as Ann Coulter. I think she may be a direct descendent of Adolf Hitler. She thing is beyond disgusting. What type of sewage mutation did she grow from? Barrrfff.

guinness416 said...

I'm pretty sure Coulter is just playing a role, Anonymous. And laughing all the way to the bank. When you get outraged you contribute to all the attention she gets. You're better off to turn her off.

Anonymous said...

Yea I guess your right and I figured as much. I would thing there's a better way to make a living but I guess it kinda reflects on the type of shallow person (mutation) she (it) is. OK. I feel better now.

Michelle | When I Grow Up said...

The #1 reason to not listen to your iPod during your commute!

Have you read It's addicting but possibly the funniest site out there.