Everyone can relate. Everyone. Living in the city has taught me to never mess with the MTA. I'm not joking. And I'm sure others in big cities can relate as well. Don't get me wrong- there are very nice and genuine bus drivers and transportation workers. But, lets me honest. It's almost a hit and miss when it comes down to some things.
The other day I was on the bus (and what I appreciate about the London transportation system is the fact that it announces the next stop. Hmmm, yes they have this in the big apple, but not for all systems of transportation. And though I am a native in the city, this does not quite help those who are visiting. I know the R train doesn't have it. Sigh, I digress) and my stop is announced. Bags on bags are what I am carrying after a day of errands, still I manage to press the bell right before the stop and stand to wait for the doors to open. Yet....the mate decides not to stop.
Hmmmmm. Question mark. Question mark. Question. Mark.
Really? You being for real right now?
And mind you, at this moment I'm far from being vexed, despite me carrying three big-bags from Primark (I had no sheets and no pillows so I had some shopping to do). Maybe it's because I'm so numb to it or because it just is-what-it-is. Also, side-note, there were three people on this bus including the driver and myself. I did ask for him to open the door, because, fun-fact, when he paused the bus, we just so happen to be settled at a red light...in front of the bus stop I needed. Still, he scolded and gave the original "No because blah blah blah-bus-driver-speech" all the while trying to throw shade at me (he was unsuccessful by the way...#fail). I shook my head in disappointment and waited for him to open the door at the following stop. And when he did open the door, he opened the back door...even while I was standing in the front. Basically telling me to leave from the back. Wow.
Again, cha girl wasn't upset and I was far from furious. But I was annoyed (there's a difference). These occurrences happen a good majority of the time. I remember catching the B41 Limited Bus to Kings Plaza and knocking on the door for the bus driver to open the door. Red light. Still at the bus stop curb. Doors closed. Still, she refused to open the door. And darlings....when I tell you I can count the number of people on that bus with one hand, I tell you la verdad. So it wasn't even a case of 'the bus being too packed'. It was annoying but after witnessing the vex-osity of my Caribbean aunties, I decided to embrace life and simply wait for the next bus. Because hey, I don't drive the bus.
Now, granted I understand bus drivers go through a lot. Not sure how long ago it was but I do remember watching this one bus driver from Cincinnati on youtube who ....punched (man....was that a punch) a young woman in the face after she, number one, took hold of his neck and, number two, spat on his face. The reason? I honestly do not know. Still...spiting is a bit of a stretch. Or in Brooklyn when a man took the express bus, thinking it was the local, and became furious after the bus driver stopped at the stop she was suppose to stop on. He spat on her too. (One of the many reasons why MTA is installing those bus driver shields and reminding passengers that "assaulting a bus driver is a felony"). But this particular bus driver did something different. As the man exited the bus, she took out some baby wipes, and wiped the mess off her forearm. Then simply continued to drive. Hm. I guess she'd become numb to the treatment too.
In the end, everyone has their bad days. But the answer to a lot of these bad and unfair treatments are two things- resilience and kindness. Yes, this is coming from a New Yorker herself....where road rage exists and traffic sucks. Don't get me wrong! This too is a hit-and-miss. However, the super-man punch the young woman endured most likely could have been prevented if she had not assaulted the driver first. And who knows, if I had acted vexed to the bus driver the other day, he probably wouldn't have let me off the bus for x-amount of stops! Sometimes, it's best to just take things with a grain of salt, and keep it moving. After dealing with professors, kids, co-workers and rush-hour, I'm sure all of us want to relax, feet up, eat some good food and smile, despite the negative occurrences.
Kindness is hard to come by in the world today, but when you do, it's a grateful feeling to have. And yes, by all means it is hard to show it from time to time, and it could even take awhile to acquire the flexibility. But it's all worth it in the end. Truly.