The Commuter Chronicles: What to Do When the Wi-Fi’s Not Working

Commuter Chronicles logoBy Claudia DeCarlo

If you’re like me, you can get pretty frustrated when the Wi-Fi signal on the MARC train is too weak to satisfy your web-surfing needs. But fear not! Here’s a handy list of things you can do during these challenging times, in no particular order:

  • Casually crane your head to try and read the magazine article that the person next to you is reading. Really? I can get “Get Fit in Just Forty Days”?!
  • Obsess about how the person next to you has something to do you and you don’t.
  • Meditate.
  • Scan your eyes across the seatback in front of you and wonder when the last time it was cleaned. Then, rub copious amounts of hand sanitizer feverishly over all your exposed bodily surfaces.
  • Take out your laptop, open Word, and type up a list of things to do when there is no Wi-Fi on the MARC train so you’ll know what to do the next time this happens.
  • Try to name all 50 states in alphabetical order.
  • Write out your grocery list.
  • Hit refresh in your Internet browser at precise, 15-second intervals.
  • Listen to music you may have downloaded to your phone, since Spotify isn’t available. Reminisce about that time last summer when you downloaded that song to your phone because that cute guy (or gal) you met said you had to listen to it. What was his name anyway?!
  • Reminisce about last summer.
  • Practice the speech you’ll give your boss when you get to work and have to tell him (or her) that you didn’t get your work done because there was no Wi-Fi on the train. Be prepared to explain why you left it to the last minute instead of staying late last night to finish it.
  • Write a letter to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time but wish you had.
  • Sleep.
  • Prepare a cost-benefit analysis to send to the President of MTA, explaining why outfitting the 409 MARC train with free or low-cost Wi-Fi could yield great profit in the form of additional happy customers.
  • Count the number of people on the train car with you without anyone noticing.
  • Imagine the life story of the person sitting next to you. Who are they? Why are they on this train? Have you met them elsewhere not on this train?
  • Pray. For Wi-Fi. And world peace.