Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have an issue with down escalators.  I typically need to hold both railings to get on. Sometime I can suck it up and just GO, like if I have a rolling bag in one hand and a stream of teammates following me in an airport. I do better when I don't have time to think about it. Sometimes, particularly in the mall, I freeze. Two bags. No truly free hands. I don't like when my bag brushes the side...feels like it limits my grip on the railing. I've been known (usually when alone) to abandon the escalator all together and find the elevator or stairs. The days when it is bad, I start sweating a little, and I half step on and off the damn thing over and over (this is not an issue at all on up escalators).

Its embarrassing though. Once in an airport there were no stairs to be seen and a huge line for the elevator. A 12 yr old took my bag down for me. Mortifying.

Earlier this week I had an interview in NYC. I took the train from my parents' house, which requires a transfer.  I don't know this station terribly well, and there's only 1 set of stairs for every 3 or 4 escalators (I determined this on my way home when I had 30 minutes to kill during my ill-timed connection), and they're not generally in the game spot. So here I am, on the edge of NJ heading into Manhattan at the end of morning rush hour (it was about 9 am). NYers, and NY-workers, are not known for their patience. I am one of these people, the type who gets mad when tourists don't cross the street on the No Walk sign even though there's no cars coming. But there I was, standing at the top of the stupid 1.5 person wide escalator (ok, maybe 2 wide, but only if you're the Olsen twins), in 3 inch heels (wide base, they weren't crazy to walk in!) carrying a bag. Shit.

One lady pushed by me. Another grunted something. I just closed my eyes and hoped not to die as I stepped onto NJTransit's escalator without having any idea if my entire foot was on a single stair. I made it, clearly.

But on the way home, I sure did find the stairs. On the outside change I get this job (I think I'm underqualified), I will either need to get over this, asap, or find every set of stairs in Secaucus and Penn Station...


  1. My mom and I were just talking about this phobia because she is the exact same way. Going up is fine, but coming down is not good. I have a hard time coming down tall bleachers without feeling a bit panicked.

    Also, good luck with the job! What is it for?

  2. OMG, I have the same problem! I just freeze sometimes. Once, LMC wanted to ride up an escalator. I took her figuring I could find an elevator or stairs to get back down. No such luck. I had to HOLD her and get on the down escalator. I was sure we were going to die.

    So sorry you had a scary time but glad you survived. I hope the job hunt goes well.

  3. Jo, it was an Institutional Research Analyst job...on paper, totally qualified, but the interview questions were way out of my league. Oh well!

  4. Oh, good luck, again!! I'm an institutional researcher for a state coordinating agency. I really enjoy the work. I started in an entry level position, but I think it's definitely something that you can learn a lot on the job. Your background in higher ed will certainly help.