April 17th, 2007

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CharlieCard on the MTA

In the midst of all the other frustrations in my life at the moment, and in lieu of a real update or a post on writing, here's today's rant about the T.

Last Friday, my CharlieCard stopped working. As the Card was programmed with an April LinkPass, this was suboptimal. A very nice T attendant at Copley Square helped me check the Card, and advised me to go to the Downtown Crossing office anytime between Monday and Friday from 8-6 to get the Card replaced or my LinkPass restored.

On Monday, I was in NYC dealing with estate issues, so I wasn't able to go to Downtown Crossing. gnomi graciously offered to go to Downtown Crossing with my Card and receipt instead, to get the problem resolved.

Unfortunately, the office was closed yesterday due to Patriot's Day, a fact they apparently neglected to tell kindly T attendants who are supposed to tell customers how to get CharlieCard problems fixed.

So gnomi went again today, in the rain, and while she was at it she brought me lunch from Milk Street as well. She almost wasn't able to get me a replacement card, though. We order our LinkPasses online and have them mailed to us, and so apparently we're supposed to complain to the online vendor, and not to the Downtown Crossing office. They also expressed incredulity because the online vendor keeps mailing us new CharlieCards instead of loading new LinkPasses on our old Cards; as I believe Nomi tried to explain to them, the online vendor doesn't seem to be offering that option yet.

In the end, they gave her an April LinkPass on a CharlieTicket for me, which means that I now actually have printed evidence on my Ticket that it's an April LinkPass, just in case it somehow fails again. But I still had to spend an extra $2 to get to work this morning, and I doubt the T plans to refund me for it.

I continue to think they should have worked out all the bugs in this system before going live with it.
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In Memoriam: Virginia Tech

[Nomi has given me permission to echo her sentiment.]

This has been resounding in Nomi's head since we heard the news from Virginia yesterday:

... securing peace in a time of global conflict, sustaining hope in this winter of anxiety and fear. More than any time in recent history America's destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedoms and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people's strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive.

Forty four people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kenneson State University. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed and two others are in critical condition when after having heard the explosion from their practice facility they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight.

But every time we've measured our capacity to meet a challenge we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars.


(The West Wing: "20 Hours in America")