Much has been written about how automation is threatening the American worker. For a brief time Sunday, it was the other way around.
A video posted to YouTube that day shows a man punching an MTA bus-ticket machine on the sidewalk near the Main Street stop in Flushing, Queens.
"I'm gonna break this g–damn machine!" shouted the man, a stout gentleman with silver hair, shortly after the video started.
The machine was clearly not complying with the man's request to dispense a ticket. His money was not eaten; he was having trouble getting the machine to solicit his business at all.
"Press start to begin! Press start to begin!" the man raged, apparently having difficulty with the machine's sign-in process. It was clear at this point that the man was not someone you'd "want to run into in a dark alley," as the saying goes. Or, apparently, on a slightly cloudy sidewalk.
"I just put money on it!" he shouted, shaking his fists and growing visibly red. He then walloped the machine twice with his forearm before continuing.
"For the 20th time!" he shouted, before looking around to see if he was being observed. The brave cameraman did not so much as tremble. "For the 20th f–ing time!" he bellowed.
By the time the 84-second video concluded, he had not yet received a ticket.
The MTA's plan to replace physical tickets for subways and buses with those on smartphones has been pushed back to 2021. (The mobile ticketing system is now available for the Metro North and Long Island Rail Road.)
If you or a loved one is having anger-management issues, the National Institute of Mental Health (1-888-269-4389) takes calls on an emergency basis.