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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

When it rains it pours

Dear readers ... if you're still out there ... sorry, it has been a while. A combination of lack of truly notable travesties and laziness on my part has resulted in a year and a half of blog silence. Ok, let's be honest, it's mostly laziness, because even though I have a relatively short quiet commute to and from school most days, there is always someone doing something wrong on transit.

So after months of minor infractions not worthy of my effort to write about, this week there were two travesties that I could no longer ignore.

Travesty the first:
It was Monday. For some reason the Pacific Northwest is trying to mimic actual winter this year, so for not the first time this season, I woke up to snow. It was coming down quite heavily near my apartment, though not enough to cancel school. So I hop on the bus and don't think too much of it when we make a small detour, the purpose of which, I assume, was to avoid a short but steep hill at the beginning of the route which was probably quite slippery in the wet snow.

That should have been my clue that this ride was going to end poorly for me. But I blissfully ignored that warning sign and zoned out as usual for the next half an hour of my ride.

Then we reached the last stop before campus. And the driver makes an announcement, "Just so you know, we are on snow route detours around campus today." And that was it. No information about what this route might be and how far from my stop I was about to end up. And for that matter, no justification for why we were making a snow detour when it was now raining and there was no snow on the roads by campus at all. Of course, it meant exactly what I feared it meant ... instead of turning up the hill towards campus and my office, we went straight down around the bottom of the hill. Someone pulled the stop cord, and when the bus came to its first stop near the university gym, there was a strange delay while people looked around trying to decide if they should get off or just stay on the ride and see where they ended up. I got off because we were already well past my office and only getting farther from there. Eventually many people decided to do the same.

So now instead of being dropped right in front of my office, I have to schlep my butt up a bajillion stairs first thing in the morning in the almost freezing drizzle as well as back track around the main campus road back to my office building. Awesome. Especially awesome when the only reason I take this bus, whose route is about 10 minutes longer than the other bus to campus that comes by my apartment, is exactly because I DON'T HAVE TO WALK 10 MINUTES ACROSS CAMPUS FROM THE BUS TO MY OFFICE. So now I've wasted 10 minutes and an uphill walk. Swell.

Travesty the second:
It's almost the end of the quarter. So I'm tired, frustrated with my students and my own work, I'm ready for a vacation and I'm perpetually on edge with no patience left. I say this because this particular type of incident has happened many times during these months of blog silence, but this morning it was the straw that broke the camel's back. So here it is ...

The city bus is NOT a tour bus. Announcements by the driver should be reserved for emergencies only. It's 8 o'clock in the morning; I haven't had my coffee yet; I'm trying to zone out, listen to my music and psych myself up for the day. I do not need this process interrupted by your freaking perky voice every 5 blocks telling me what the connecting buses are. I get that you are trying to be helpful, but the city bus is every man for himself. Read the schedule, check your phone app, ask the driver, ask someone next to you. Sink or swim. ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE. If you need to get somewhere, you figure it out.

Things I also don't need to hear include

  • being told that the bus is `about to get busy' at a certain stop and that we should `choose who we want to sit next to now before we don't get a choice' and that people should `move back to make room'. Normally I'm all about telling people to get the eff to the back of the bus, but after loading all the people at this particularly busy stop, THERE WERE STILL EMPTY SEATS. Ask anyone who has ridden a bus at rush hour, if there are still empty seats, the bus may as well be empty - that's how far from being full it feels; that's how unnecessary the announcements were. 
  • that we should all look at the guy up ahead spinning the sign (for some store I couldn't identify because I was not sitting in a seat where he was actually visible) because you read on your twitter feed this week that there is a sign-spinning competition in Las Vegas each year. `Can you believe that? I'm not making this up.'  ... ... Ask me if I care. Go ahead, ask. 
  • that we've made it more than half way through the week after waking up early this morning and have a happy hump day. How about you go hump yourself, dude. My day would have been happier if you could have just kept your mouth shut for my bus ride. 
If eye-rolling made a sound, I would have been the loudest passenger on the bus this morning. 

So there you have it. In case you had forgotten in the last 18 months what an angry person I truly am, I hope this has been a nice reminder for you.

Update: I often take two buses home. A fast one that cuts off the long way around that the slow route I take in the morning follows, then I switch to the slow route for the last 5 stops or so. Did that this evening and guess who was driving the slow route bus that I happened to get on. JUST GUESS.

Did you say `perky unnecessary-announcement morning driver'? If so, you're right! The bus gods apparently hate me this week.