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Did You Ever Go Off-Road?

I was five minutes late to work this morning — due to a last-minute decision to go off-road.

I usually take the S train to get to Grand Central and walk a couple of minutes to the office. This morning, running a little late, I decided to take a shortcut and followed a colleague’s tip to take the 7 train. She told me the escalator would take me right to the side entrance of the building. So I stepped onto the 7, and when the train pulled into Grand Central, it was almost 9 a.m. Reassured that it would take no time to get to the ground, I found myself on a long platform that led to an escalator on either end. Which way to go?

Unfortunately, I am one of those people who, when facing a choice of direction, almost always make the wrong one. And I did. Emerging from the escalator, I stood in front of an exit to Park Avenue and 42nd Street. Half a world across, man! So I walked down the escalator, sprinted across the platform and ascended on the other end. My colleague was right after all: I was right beside 150 42nd St.

The lesson is that you’ve got to either stick to your route or go waaay off-road. What if I woke up one morning to find a Saudi crown prince’s helicopter perching in front of my house? He could fly me to work in the blink of an eye. But I am not Cinderella, nor would I be working if I had a Saudi romance. I am just one of millions of New Yorkers riding the subway every day.

And I take the S train.

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