Subway Stories: Bootlegging

The nicest of the subway station’s elevator operators was there today. To call him an elevator operator isn’t quite accurate – he doesn’t open gates or announce floors. Rather, he sits at the controls, pressing “door open” when the staccato of high heels ticks up as the doors begin to close, pressing “door close” when the air has been all but pressed out of a packed of elevator, and shooting the breeze with any other subway worker who’s on duty at the station. Today the elevator operator was shooting the breeze with one of his guys as he operated his elevator.

“Coming up on 25 years?” the operator asked his fellow membership a he pressed down on the “door close” button.

“Oh, yeah,” his friend responded.

“What are you gonna do?” the operator turned in his padded chair to ask. The operators at my station have a desk and chair, and in the summer a fan, to keep them company.

“I’m gonna be like you, sit here all day pressing a button,” his friend teased.

“Oh man, I’m year 36!” the operator protested.

“Yep just sit here pressing a button and bootlegging,” his friend said as the doors opened. “Just like you,” he called as he walked out of the elevator.

“That’s low man, that’s low” shouted the operator after him.

Bootlegging? I guess the MTA pensions aren’t what they used to be.



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