I got on a bus headed back to New York City this afternoon and immediately realized something: the driver was serious about his job.
I was already boarded when I heard some arguing outside my window, so glanced down to see the driver in a heated conversation with two young women, each of whom were brandishing tickets in their hands. From what I gathered, the driver would not let the one lady on, despite her obvious ticket, because he didn’t like her attitude.
“I’ll go inside and tell them what’s happening,” she warned.
‘Fine,” he said, completely unalarmed. “They’ll tell you exactly what I’m telling you: I reserve the right to keep any and everyone off this bus who I decide to keep off this bus.”
Finally, the lady whose attitude was in question was talked off the ledge by her friend.
“Just shut up, stay completely quiet, and show him your ticket. Calmly,” she added.
I guess she portrayed enough of an attitude adjustment, because she boarded the bus.
When the driver walked on, he looked directly at me, as I was sitting towards the front. I did what I would do whenever anyone looks directly at me–I smiled. But he didn’t even come close to smiling back at me. He stonily stared at me for a few moments while I wondered if this man was under the impression that he was driving a bus full of convicted prisoners, rather than free and paying customers.
My manager called me on the phone then, and I began a quiet phone conversation.
No big deal, right?
Actually, wrong. The bus driver turned his stony face to me and stared me down, quiet conversation and all. Then he told me that he was about to make an announcement in such a way as to leave no doubt in my mind that I needed to get off the phone so he could have my undivided attention for said announcement.
Seriously, I’ve never met a bus driver who took his job THIS seriously.
I got off the phone. After all, I didn’t want to be kicked off the bus for lack of proper attitude.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. For me, anyway. I minded my P’s and Q’s, and when I did make a phone call, I spoke so quietly that my poor boyfriend had to ask me to repeat myself every other sentence.
But twice, there was a man speaking on the phone too loudly for the bus driver’s taste. So, twice, the driver picked up his walkie-talkie thing and soundly rebuked the phone talker, telling him to STOP THE LOUD CONVERSATION.
Seriously, we all paid to ride that bus. It was NOT a quiet car. None of us had committed any crimes to land us on that bus. It was really odd. The driver would have been a marvelous prison guard.
I mean, really really well suited for it.
Maybe he does that on the weekends.