Jessica Gross

The Lost Doll

In musings, people watching on October 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm

This morning, on the way from the 6 train to the turnstyle, I spied a doll lying on the ground. She was yellow, with pretty yarn hair. She was also dirty, as she’d been mashed by the soles of many shoes.

I tried to make myself walk through the turnstyle. But I couldn’t! I kept picturing a kid realizing the doll was lost and shrieking in mourning. I turned around and picked up the stinky doll with two outstretched fingers. I was a hero!

Dolly and I turnstyled. I approached the ticket booth. “Hi, I found this doll on the floor,” I said. “Is there a lost and found?”

“It’s on 34th Street,” she said. She didn’t swoon at the sight of the stuffed child.

I balked. There’s just one MTA lost and found? This was not okay. I persuaded her to let me leave the doll on the ledge underneath the booth window. If the doll’s owners realized they lost their treasure at a subway station, wouldn’t they come to that station, rather than a random lost-and-found?

After the incident, I did some MTA lost-and-found research. It turns out that the system doesn’t just suck because there’s a single location — it also sucks because it’s disorganized and inefficient. Read this New York Times piece and this blog post. Not the MTA’s most pressing question, but note: I am not pleased.

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