Saturday, May 09, 2009

Get on the bus . . .

. . . or, riding with the transit Nazi.

I probably shouldn't complain, because the Navy pays for my bus passes, and riding the bus cuts my commuting costs in half.

However, I still require treatment as a human being.

We have a new driver. A large, antagonistic beast of a woman whose photo is undoubtedly in Webster's next to the phrase "bad attitude." If you need further elaboration, read Beowulf. Look up Grendel's mother.

And I'm being kind.

Twice last week, she zipped by my stop almost ten minutes early. I saw her at the next corner as I walked up. No problem. Walk across the street and wait opposite the bus shelter. A road on the base is closed, so the driver has to circle back. We wave. They stop.

Not Grendel's mother. She drove by, honked, waved back and refused to stop.

So, my fellow riders and I hot foot it about five or six blocks across the base to a different stop while the Grendelbus circles around the piers.

At the next stop, we board Grendelbus.
My fellow rider: "Why didn't you stop?"
Grendel's mama: "I don't stop nowhere that ain't a bus stop."

Next day, I leave early. She's already gone past. I'm not playing her game again, so I hoof the six blocks to the other stop.

I'm standing there with my co-rider, and two buses are parked at the stop waiting for the green light at the corner. Grendelbus stops at the back of the other buses, so we walk about fifty feet back and stand at the door.

She doesn't open it. We wave. She ignores us.

Then, when the light turns green, she drives up to the bus shelter, opens the door and waits for us.

We all turn around and trudge the fifty feet back to the shelter. In the rain.

Not that the fifty feet matters much. I just don't need the implied "You gotta kiss my ass if you wanna ride on my bus" attitude. Not at the end of a nine-hour work day.