Ill-conceived instructions and misinformation

I stop off at the bank to deposit a check on the way into work. Go up to the ATM, swipe my card, enter my pin, indicate that I want to make a deposit, enter the amount. ATM asks me to confirm that yes I really do want to make a deposit for 417.26 or whatever it was. I click the “yes” button and…

Slot opens up, motor whirrs, instrux on screen says “PLEASE PLACE YOUR ENDORSED CHECK(S) ALONG WITH YOUR DEPOSIT TICKET IN THE ENVELOPE, SEAL IT, AND INSERT IT INTO THE SLOT”. OK, look, if I had not already endorsed my check, filled out my deposit ticket, stuck them in the envelope, and held it out like so, ready to poke it into the slot when it opens, it would not make it into the envelope-eater. Wouldn’t it make more sense to provide those instructions on the PREVIOUS SCREEN? But no, its already trying to suck the envelope out of my hands before the machine makes the suggestion that I put all that into the envelope and seal it.
So then I finish my transit. Go into the subway system. Lots of people on the platform, and then the train arrives and a large throng emerges and a similarly dense cluster of passengers, me included, tries to get on. “There’s another train directly behind this one” the PA system tells us. Yeah I know. It’s a train track. Of COURSE there’s another train directly behind this one. It can’t be indirectly behind this one, you know. It may be 11 miles behind, but it’s most certainly directly behind this one, and there’s definitely one back there, it’s not like there’s normally ever going to be deserted track all the way back to the terminus out in Wakefield or Far Rockaway or Flushing or wherever.
Have you ever noticed that ATM is MTA spelled backwards?

Here’s my complaint with the MTA (today): they have big machines and little machines to vend Metrocards, and to check the status of one’s Metrocard, located OUTSIDE the subway system proper. IOW, I go up to the turnstiles, and need to rush to enter the subway system (because I’m never sure when I will encounter problems in getting the Metrocard to work properly, and a train might come into the station while I’m buying a new Metrocard, which often takes a few minutes). Then when I’m inside of the subway system proper, I have all the time on my hands I will ever need–but I can’t locate a vending machine because they are all on the other side of the turnstiles.

I’m also pissed because for the past five says, I’ve been unable to find a vending machine that recognizes credit cards. Subway clerk: “Yeah, you’re not the first person I’ve heard lately complaining about that.” Gee, really? And you fuckheads have decided that this is tolerable for days on end?

My credit union now has envelope-free deposit ATMs. They’re awesome; when it asks you to enter the amount of a check, they display an image of the check on the screen.

Well, how about if, on your subway train, the driver, knowing that there are many many and really **far **too many people on the platform, **all **wanting to board his train, instead of saying that there is another train directly behind this one, said “Oh really, passengers, ladies and gentlemen, there are other trains that will come. This is not the last train EVER!” I might have not recalled his sentence completely verbatim, but I thought it good, as a way of soft answer turning away wrath and the poor driver was probably as annoyed as all the passengers, really.

Anyway, in a small game of nitpicking, perhaps the other train would *not *come directly: perhaps it would travel in a bendy way, having gone through many curves and so on.

No, I do not think my musings will help your tristesse of trains, but, well, a tiny bit amusing. (Only until next time that you are having the same problem, of course) :frowning:

I know when I get pestered for a whole week about something like a non-credit card accepting vending machine, I go out and buy one even if I have to use my own money. Because really, cash is just cruel.

Is this some kind of hilarious whoosh that I am missing?

The second definition of “directly,” from

2 a : without delay : immediately <the second game followed directly after the first> b : in a little while : shortly <we’ll be leaving directly>

No, it isn’t a whoosh. Sometimes they are right and there is another train directly behind them. Sometimes they are full of shit and just trying to get you to wait on the platform for a while and another train might not be along for 5 or 10 minutes. You can never tell which conductor is trying to be helpful and which conductor is a liar, and if you called them on it they would use AHunter3’s example of a train being “directly” behind them as to what they meant over the loud speaker.

Where else could it be other than “directly” behind the train that’s full? The announcement is total BS.

My current pet peeve with DC’s Metro system is their sloppy abuse of calls for our attention.

The loudspeakers crackle to life: “YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE…YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE…Will Operator Smith please call HQ.”

Why on earth do they want every human being in the system to stop what they’re doing and devote attention to a message intended solely for Operator Smith?

People are really good at recognizing their own names, even when they are distracted. That’s why it’s so tricky to gossip about them at work or parties – even a whispered “Steven is dating so-and-so” will cause Steven’s head to turn when he’s fifty feet away, deep in a game of Minesweeper.

Just say “Operator Smith, call HQ” like every other announcer I’ve ever heard. He’ll hear that just as well as the other announcement, but that one doesn’t annoy everyone else.

Of course, the Metro announcers aren’t intentionally involving everyone in the station in some kind of scavenger hunt for Operator Smith. Just like you and I, they’ve been to stadiums and schools and heard pages for specific individuals that did NOT open with “YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE,” so they other announcers don’t do it – if they stop and think at all. But no, they’re just mindlessly, lazily operating on autopilot. They’re used to opening almost every announcement with “YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE…” and they’re not about to put any thought into this one.

This problem has largely been alleviated by the use of automated systems, but I used to get amused/annoyed with Mr. Dorsel O.

Mr. Dorsel O. announced the stops on the subway. “Jackson Square. Next stop is Jackson Square. Dorsel O.”

Of course, had he not mumbled his way through the message, and had he held the talk button down for the entirety of the message, we may have heard something like this: “Jackson Square. Next stop is Jackson Square. Doors’ll open on the left.”

I hear that announcement every day but by the time the conductor says it I’m already on the train so I’ve never had to wait for the train that is “directly” behind. I take the E from Queens toward Brooklyn and by the time it hits 53rd and Lex, it’s packed to the gills with bodies. At 5th avenue people are literally hurling themselves at the smallest open crevice on the train no matter what the conductor says.

As an aside, I’ve always found it interesting how people on the platform expect the people on a completely packed train to make room for them. There’s no room, dude. I have 3 asses in my face and a woman’s monstrous purse steadily banging me in the head. We’re at capacity.

10 minutes away, obviously.

Directly behind means immediately behind, not somewhere on the same track. Typically it means 2 minutes behind which is I believe the minimum distance trains are allowed to be in the NYC subway.

Because this particular form might be a code for something else and the employees are trained for it. Like an emergency. They need the police, or a manager or someone is ill, or a code Adam, etc.

If they need a particular code that doesn’t get the public’s attention, why are they starting with “YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE…” and getting everyone’s attention? Just announce, “Mr. Brown, your wife is on line 2” or something that’s innocuous but does not ask everyone in the station to think about the “coded” announcement.

It’s not hard to miss the first few words of a PA announcement, so you have a choice of either an announcing phrase or repeating the message.

Interesting guess.

When I was in high school, we got the following announcement.

“May I have your attention. This is principal Faulks. Paging George Boomer. If George Boomer is anywhere in the building, please come to the principal’s office at precisely one o’clock.”

We were hearded out of the school a few minutes later.

I think the same thing happened to us once in church, except the code was, “There’s been a bomb threat. Try to get the children out first.”

Something like that happened to us once in church when I was a kid, except the code was, “There’s been a bomb threat. Try to get the children out first.”

Um, sorry. That was an edit attempt gone haywire.

One of the Apple Support documents for removing the iTunes programs from your computer instructs you to throw the (user name)/music/itunes folder in the trash and empty it.

Doing so will destroy ALL of the music and media you have stored in iTunes.

At no point does it ever warn you that you’re doing this.