Week of February 1–7, 2019
Riders this past week: 19,734
Rider miles this past week: 68,566
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Steven Spielberg, with a fishing pole, was seen traveling on Hamptons Subway between Wainscott and the closed-for-the-winter Georgica stop, where he got off anyway. Governor Cuomo was spotted in the Hamptons, traveling with an aide taking notes between Hampton Bays and Quogue. One of our spotters said he saw Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel traveling between Noyac and North Sea. He took photos of them on the subway, which our spotters are not supposed to do, so we fired him.
Subway brakeman Lawrence Cole celebrated his 43rd birthday, courtesy of Hamptons Subway, at lunchtime in the company cafeteria, where he was presented with a big birthday cake while everyone stood around singing. We do one birthday luncheon a week—it’s in the budget—and since we have exactly 52 employees it turns out everybody gets a party once a year. Oddly, shortly after parties in their honor, many employees quit. We’re told that Hamptons Subway is a lousy place to work but people wait for the party to happen before they leave. Nothing we can do about it.
The 40-minute system-wide power outage delay that left people stranded on the system between stations Tuesday afternoon was caused deliberately, it turned out. Hamptons Subway had hired the Francoise de Gaulle Painting Company to paint the Southampton platform, and Mr. de Gaulle was on the job himself with his crew when the paint he ordered arrived. He claimed it was too light a shade of blue, but Arlene Grabboksi, the color coordinator for the subway system, said it was just fine, and when one of de Gaulle’s workmen began painting at her order, M. de Gaulle pulled the master power switch to the subway system, turning everything dark and effectively shutting everything down.
Afterwards, Commissioner Aspinall ordered M. de Gaulle to his office but when M. de Gaulle wouldn’t come, Aspinall went to see him at the job. Aspinall told de Gaulle he was fired, but de Gaulle waved his contract, saying he could not be fired and, in fact, he would do it again if painting began again with the too light color. At the present time, de Gaulle is still down there, supervising and waiting for the darker paint, and says the painting of the platform will take as long as it takes. Until that happens, the Southampton platform is off limits and a bus service will provide transportation from the street at the top of the stairs to the nearest other subway stops, at Shinnecock and Water Mill. Ms. Grabboksi meanwhile has been put on paid leave until de Gaulle leaves.
The parents of a Quogue High School freshmen have filed a lawsuit against Hamptons Subway demanding $4 million in damages because their son Eric Beenbottle was injured trying to skateboard down the escalator to the Quogue platform. The cause, the lawsuit claims, came about because Eric thought the down escalator was stairs and so the bottom came up and hit him earlier than he thought it would. Commissioner Aspinall is currently looking into whether we can find escalators that automatically turn themselves off when no feet are on them, to prevent future lawsuits. The injury suffered was a chipped front tooth, which during dental repair, became infected. The dentist was also named in the suit.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
Busy time this week. I am off to Europe for two weeks to help the Three “Ms”—Macron, May and Merkel—work out their problems.