Monday, December 12, 2011


On my way to work the other morning, my bus driver stopped and waited through a couple traffic lights. Normally I find it quite annoying to just sit stalled while the rest of the metro passes us by, but I understand the reason for it. Unfortunately, the lady in front of me did not.

"What's the holdup?" she snapped.

"I'm ahead of schedule," the driver replied.

"Well, I'M not!"

"Sorry, we just have to wait."


She then proceeded to whip out her phone and loudly declare to the person who answered (and all of us) that she was GOING TO BE LATE THIS MORNING because her bus was RUNNING BEHIND.

Now, I've been riding metro transit daily for 7 years, and 98% of the time I'm in my desk chair at 8:55 on the dot. However, riding the bus does not guarantee you arrive at your destination on time, any more than taking a taxi or driving your own car. And I include the train in this, because no mass transit system is immune from obstacles that can crop up to complicate your commute.

I don't understand why some bus riders have such unreasonable expectations. You just paid $2 to essentially have a personal chauffeur drive your ass to work while you sleep, chat, or text rather than fighting through rush hour, paying for gas and parking, and putting excess miles on your vehicle. Granted, that chauffeur cares nothing about your personal comfort and will leave you behind if you're 10 seconds late, but still, it's a bit magical, on par with being able to mail a letter to literally anyone in America for around 40 cents.

I especially don't understand it when people suddenly stand up mid-ride and are shocked to learn that the bus they boarded isn't going exactly where they want it to. They're typically real bastards about it, too, as if the driver just changed his mind and chose a destination that wasn't clearly indicated in lights above his windshield. I'm utterly baffled by this. You can't just leap on a random mode of transport and assume it's headed in your general direction. It would be the equivalent of me running to the airport, boarding the first plane I saw, and then being irate that it wasn't, in fact, going to France.

Because then I'd have to whip out my phone and loudly declare that I COULDN'T TAKE TWO SECONDS TO READ A SCHEDULE and the pilot could not READ MY MIND OR CHANGE COURSE, which I find highly UNREASONABLE.

I bet complaints like that sound even better in French.

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