Paquita Williams (PW) and Laura Lane (LL)
PW: Hi, my name is Paquita Williams.
LL: My name’s Laura Lane. I met Paquita on the subway when we got stopped underground for two hours. Are most people nice?
PW: For the most part yes, for the most part. There’s times if the train breaks down people think that’s my fault. Or if there’s an increase in the fare that’s because I said, ‘Hey, let’s increase the fare.’ But I think back on my mom. I have three sisters and four brothers, and she had to be patient with all of us. So that’s why I’m able to be patient. Like the day the train stopped on us.
LL: Yeah, it was like 8 a.m. I was on my way to work.
PW: It was no power, so I walked through the whole train. I walked from front to back because I knew somebody would be nervous. And they said, ‘It’s Friday the 13th.’ And I said, ‘Well, we’re alive. Somebody didn’t wake up on Friday the 13th and would have loved to have been on this train. So it’s a good day for us.’
LL: You really made everybody on that train connect. We all started talking with each other like human beings. And we left the train and somebody was like, ‘Let’s do this again tomorrow morning. Same place, same time.’ What could have started out as a bad day turned into a good day because of you.
PW: About 20 years ago I went to the dentist, and I was so afraid. And I said to the dentist, ‘Please hold my hand. Just let me know you’re there.’ And he said to me, ‘I’m not your date.’ And that stuck with me. So that’s why I do what I do with my passengers. I want you to know that if you need me to hold your hand, I’m there.