I helped an old woman

by Peter Marus

So I wanted to write down this story about what happened to me this past week.  I don’t write it to show how I am a good person, but how God apparently tested me, and to say that there is a reason for everything, and good deeds in the end (hopefully) are rewarded.

So Wednesday I was in Brooklyn at the Workforce1 offices to take a comprehension test for a job I applied for.  The job was for National Grid, the gas company in New York City, and the position is a meter reader.  The test was like an SAT test where your math and reading comprehension skills were tested.  The test wasn’t hard, I only needed 40 minutes of the hour they set for the test.

After the test I texted my girlfriend to tell her how things went.  Since I was not far from where she worked in Brooklyn, I decided to meet her for lunch.  We went to a bar not far from where she worked and had lunch there.  When we were done, we said our goodbyes and I walked back to the Atlantic Center where I could get the Q line to Queens. 

This is where the story really starts.

I’m on the platform waiting for the train, when out of the corner of my eye, I see an old woman trying to get my attention.  She asked me where the N line is, and I told her it was across the station (If you never been to the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center train station, its the major hub in Brooklyn, where a dozen subway lines and the LIRR come together in this massive maze of underground tunnels).  So she looks upset and asks me to help her get her stuff-a huge roller luggage bag and duffel bag-to the platform for her.  There wasn’t any train coming and we were the only people on the platform so I couldn’t get out of it.  

So we go through the maze of tunnels and elevators….slowly.  She had a ankle boot on and a walker.  So the pace of the moving was really slow.  All through the entire walk, she’s babbling on about how she fell, where she fell, and how she doesn’t drink or do drugs so she didn’t fall because of that.  During this long ass trip, she’s stopping every so often making it even longer.  She’s also saying how horrible people are for ignoring her in need and how lucky she was I am helping her.  At this point in my head I'm saying “Just get her on the train, that’s it.”  At one of the elevators she’s holding it up going through her bag.  Was it something to maybe give me for the effort?  NO.  Its the results of her piss test saying she’s clean.  She’s trying to show me EVERY LINE of it while holding this elevator up.  I get her into the elevator and finally end up on the N line platform.  

On the platform she’s still babbling on about some nonsense, on top of some foreigner trying to figure out how to get to some part of Brooklyn, cackling how funny it is he’s lost.  Finally the train arrives and I get her bag on the train, the dummy decides to sit in the center of the train.  I put the bags by her, and the doors shut.


I thought, “Well, she only has to go one stop.”  36th street on the N line is about a 10 minute ride-luckily express.  Getting off the train is another test of patience of both me and the others waiting for this cripple to get off the train.  Gee, we are at one end of the platform, the only stairs are on the OTHER SIDE.  Again, a couple minute walk was more like 15 with this woman.  Oh, I said stairs because at the end of the platform that’s all there is there.  No elevator.  GREAT!!!!  I drag her damn bag up, cursing since I am also carrying my bag (full of my BJJ stuff-all soaked in sweat) up these stairs.  The woman said leave her there and she’ll get someone else to help her.  Finally she says thank you and God Bless.  That’s it, nothing for the effort or the act that she’s taken me out of my way (granted partly my fault) and further into Brooklyn than I wanted.  

I go home, finally.  I get an email about my test results and am told I did well enough to make the next stage in the process.  So I guess I was rewarded somewhat.  

I say this story for a few reasons.  First I wanted to write something.  Second, I realize why I did what I did.  When I see old people, and I see my Mom.  I don’t want to see someone treat her like shit, so I think it’s fair I don’t to other old people, it may come back to her.  It would anger me if someone didn’t help my Mom, so I thought I would do a nice thing for an old lady. Granted she was a pain in the ass and caused my trip to be extended where I just wanted to go home and take a nap, but it needed to be done.  Plus how bad would it look if someone didn’t help her, I’d look like an asshole and probably would have been spoken to by someone, maybe a cop.