I needed to refill my metrocard (the card needed to get on mass transit in NYC)

Normally, this is not difficult. Most subway stations have at least three machines with which you can refill your card.

One day I descend into the subway. I see that there is a train two minutes away, and the next train is fifteen minutes after that. If I don’t make the first train I will never make it on time to where I am meeting my friend.

This shouldn’t be an issue, as really, it only takes about thirty seconds to put money on the card…

First machine- the screen isn’t working so I can’t type in my billing zip code…

Second machine- eats my metrocard

Third machine- I. Can’t. Get. It. To. Work. It’s taking forever to process BUY NEW METROCARD…I see those flashing dots meaning its still thinking…

At this point I can see the lights illuminating the track on the other side of the turnstyle, I am BEYOND FRUSTRATED at this point…

As the train lumbers into the station, I think about how my daughter gets into the subway: she taps her apple watch onto a screen on the turnstyle. Now I don’t have an apple watch, but I do have a credit card with the “TAP” feature…which I pull out and scan on the machine…


It allows me to get through the turnstyle and onto the train…

So what was the purpose of telling you this story?

I was so frustrated with things that were out of my control, I wasn’t considering what was in my control. True, you can’t be in charge of every single thing in your life, no matter how well you plan and coordinate, but running around cursing is probably not going to solve any situation.

Sometimes emotions get the better of us. This is not usually a good thing. When you are beginning to get frustrated, you have to take a breath, even if your train is coming in two minutes…Over reacting is almost never going to lead to a viable solution.

Am I going to handle all the events in my life with calm and grace?

What do you think?


I am going to actively try to take a breath when I feel my blood pressure rise…

FYI- If anyone says that mass transit should be free, I want you to spend an hour googling what mass transit in NYC entails, and then we’ll have a discussion about it…

39 thoughts on “Mad Metrocard

  1. Isn’t that why we have I fitbit or apple.watch? Lol. I don’t have my phone hooked up to my fitbit. I use it to count my steps. And sometimes I use it to check my heart rate when I’m stressed or people piss me off it’s a good reminder to calm down. I’m hesitant on new technology. It’s too easy. I’m glad everything worked out for you. Have a great day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I enjoyed this compelling short story, and it turns out to be an excellent teaching vehicle. I’m glad that you found a “workaround” to the problem and you were able to catch the train to meet your friend. Your conclusions and suggestions are well taken. I find that it doesn’t hurt to get a little pissed at first to let off some steam, and then get to the workaround. Just sayin’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was the whole thing…I already had like twenty things on my mind, couldn’t get the thing to work…I was angry frustrated nervous on top,of all the other emotions I was experiencing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so funny you say that. I needed to do a blood test (insurance thing) and the appointment was for 1pm…which meant I really hadn’t eaten for awhile. My blood sugar and pressure were low enough that the nurse told me I should never do any sort of fasting diet,

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I get this. We have a Clipper card for mass transit. I have mine linked to a credit card and when the balance gets below a certain amount it automatically refills. It is frustrating when things don’t work the way they are supposed to. I’ve been meditating in the mornings and am learning how to take those breaths to calm before screaming. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeez…heart rate increasing over here, as I read your post. Nice job on the pause, breathe, and reflection. I completely agree – when we react out of frustration it will only lead to more frustration…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Technology!!! It took me three phone calls today to get a patient website set up and that only happened because I realized that my husband had one and I didn’t after we had appointments on the same day. When that was accomplished and my password was recorded in our password keeper in such a way that it didn’t mess up my husband’s access, I saw that the information about a medical test that no one wants to have is recorded incorrectly. No, I am not due for that, thank you very much! I’m glad you made your appointment.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You should be in a stand-up comedian! Trains coming, machines acting like a whack job, hearts racing, stomach rumbling, and aren’t you thinking how in the world did we get to the place where a plastic square card is the gatekeeper to our lives? Yes, we could expand on this issue, let me just say I would have jumped over the turnstyle (okay, climbed over the turnstyle 60 year old style) and got on the damn train. That’s just me, you be you, C

    Liked by 1 person

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