Because I work an early shift, I’m usually on my way home way before the stampede of nine-to-fivers hit the train tracks (slightly morbid humor intended). But Wednesdays are my Art Institute days (when it’s free but closes at 5 p.m.), which means I get to experience the rush hour commute.
The demography of the majority of this crowd is unmistakably young. With their dress clothes, smartphones, and Loop boarding stations, they are most likely interns or entry-level employees in the hundreds of offices downtown, populating thousands of cubicles. Their faces show the wear of routine work, their eyes are void of animation. And per their current socioeconomic levels in life, they are crammed into CTA trains like cattle.
Perhaps they just ride the train because they are young, hip and green, but I’m sure that given the chance, 90% of them would choose shorter commutes via more comfortable modes of transportation. Sorry for my cynicism.
I’m having an out-of-body experience as I write this. Perhaps it is the aftereffects of a cultured afternoon at the Art Institute that I feel more mature, but I imagine these words coming from a 40- or 50-year-old.
I’m not looking down on them for having 9-to-5 desk jobs, as I’m sure many of them love what they do, and I’m certainly not scorning them for their use of public transportation (how could I when it is my sole mode of transportation, other than my own feet of course). What it does reveal about me is that I’m not suited for the corporate grind, at least not at this stage of my life. (Trust me, I’ve tried it.) I guess I’m just too curious about the world to spend it sitting through meetings in heavily air-conditioned rooms half the day and in an 8×8 cubicle the rest of the day. Even if the pay is exponentially higher.
Signing off now, kissed by today’s glorious sun and bursting with happiness,
P.S. My other post of the day was on WGN News’ Nancy Loo’s Big Tiny World. Check it out for cool websites & apps.