Last December, Bridgit Kasperski hopped onto the 2 train at the end of her busy day at global communications marketing firm Edelman in Tribeca. On this day, however, she experienced a rather unusual delay. A homeless man lying on a bench started making “odd noises.”
“He suddenly fell forward, landed face-first and didn’t move,” says the account executive from Bay Ridge. “Several people rushed over to help. We acted the best way we could. New Yorkers look out for New Yorkers.”
They informed the conductor that this straphanger was no longer breathing. He checked the man’s pulse and declared, “I think he’s dead.”
The incoming train was held at a previous subway stop until the police arrived — the grim situation tacked an hour onto her commute. Putting things into perspective, however, Kasperski at least mused that “no matter how bad the ride, it most likely won’t be the last ride.”
While her experience is not quite as dramatic as that of Liam Neeson’s in the upcoming movie “The Commuter” (out Friday) — which features a businessman getting caught up in a conspiracy during his commute home — it’s certainly true that anything and everything can happen in a New York minute.
Certified financial planner Roger Ma got caught in an unfortunate incident a few months ago while heading home on the E train to Midtown East. After a typical day at financial planning firm Lifelaidout in Chelsea, a “young dude” stood near the door and then became rather unwell.
“A random passenger asked me to wipe off the vomit on her back with a used tissue,” he says. “That was not my best day, but a memorable one. Riding the subway adds a lot of unpredictability — I try to not let it get to me.”
Kerry Alison Wekelo, managing director of human resources and operations for Actualize Consulting and author of “Culture Infusion” (Zendoway), recommends rolling with the punches during capricious commutes.
“Simply laugh out loud, or strike up a conversation with a stranger and say something like, ‘You could not make this up if you tried.’ ” In addition, breathe deeply to relieve anxiety and stress (five mindful breaths with slow inhales and exhales).
Regarding incredulous treks home, refrain from dishing to your boss the next day, since it’s irrelevant to your workday. However, when running late in the morning, that’s another story.
Says Wekelo: “Always tell the truth even if it sounds like ‘My dog ate my…