Riders this past week: 10,812
Rider miles this past week: 114,872
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Painter Julian Schnabel was seen coming down the escalator at the Montauk station and then turning around and heading back up again without going anywhere.
50-MINUTE DELAY IN SOUTHAMPTON
A procedure completely not in our maintenance manual resulted in a shutdown of the entire system for nearly an hour during the morning rush hour last Tuesday. The employee responsible was suspended from work for two weeks as a result.
All maintenance on the system is done during the hours the subway is closed between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. However, P. T. Hippelmeyer, who is assigned the job of changing burned-out ceiling lightbulbs, is afraid of heights. Changing the lights on the platforms did not prove to be a problem with his short ladder. But reaching the elevated ceiling height above the tracks was a big problem. Hippelmeyer solved this by secretly developing his own procedure. During the day, when the trains were full of people and he was off-duty, he would run into a subway car stopped at a station and hoist himself up through the interior roof escape hatch while the train was idling. Standing on its roof, he could reach the lights and change a burned-out one in less than 10 seconds. Then he would come back down and exit the car just before it would leave the station.
Last Tuesday, however, he accidentally locked himself out up on the roof. He went up, the hatch slammed shut, and, hearing it click, he knew he had a real problem. He would be killed in the low-ceiling tunnel as soon as the train left the station. As a result, he began stamping on the roof to get everybody’s attention. The commotion resulted in people pulling the emergency cord, and that stopped the train. Commuters urged him to jump off the top of the car to the platform, but his fear of heights froze him up there. It took nearly an hour for Station Security to arrive and, using a ladder, go up and bring him down with a fireman’s carry. He was transported to Southampton Hospital, where he is in guarded condition. He still has the lightbulb. We regret the delay.
NEW MARKETING THRUST WORKING
New Marketing Director John Applewhite is crowing to everyone about the successful results of his marketing campaign. The campaign is “See the Sights of the Hamptons, the Beaches, the Windmills, the Subway.” Ridership is up. It climbed more than 1,000 riders in this, the first week of the campaign. It usually does rise as summer approaches, but this year Applewhite takes credit for it.
Every week, our Commissioner makes a special award to one department or another resulting in there being “Subway Division of the Week.” This week’s award goes to the Hamptons Subway Security Department for their daring rescue of a man stuck atop a subway car in Southampton.
HARRIET BELLWEATHER GIVEN FAREWELL PARTY
Harriet Bellweather, who delivers the interoffice mail on the metal-wheeled cart every day, was given a farewell party in the company cafeteria Thursday afternoon, complete with a cake. Her job is being phased out now that everybody is using the internet. Bon Voyage, Harriet.
COMMISSIONER BILL ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
Commissioner Aspinall filed no report this week. He is in North Korea, the guest of the Premier, there to study whether Hanoi should have subways, and he is not allowed to communicate with the outside.