CHICAGO—Making repeated announcements over the platform loudspeakers and within the agency’s tracking apps, the Chicago Transit Authority informed the public of significant delays Wednesday due to an unconscious fear of success manifesting through self-sabotage. “Commuters should plan to add upwards of 30 minutes to their daily commute while we undercut our own success because we subconsciously feel we do not deserve it,” said the prerecorded announcement, noting that disruptions would continue until the massive public transportation system could get out of its own way and give itself permission to achieve its stated goal of restoring regular service. “We apologize for any inconvenience, but frankly, the fear of what it would actually mean to reach our potential as a well-functioning transit organization can be debilitating. Every time we think we’ve overcome these mental obstacles, we panic and start destroying everything we’ve worked so hard for—whether by taking trains out of service, running buses at completely unpredictable intervals, or simply lying about our estimated arrival times. The pattern continues. It’s hard to explain, but the thought of being consistently reliable and having happy commuters who start to really count on us is absolutely terrifying, because that means we only have that much more to lose the next time we are operating with residual delays.” The alert went on to say that rather than beating itself up for not being perfect, the transit system would be focusing on self-forgiveness moving forward.
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