Well happy Wednesday to you all, unless you live in one of those weird time zones where it either isn’t Wednesday yet or has been already. Or maybe you’re seeing this days into the future while finding the site for the first time and skimming the archives, or you haven’t been here in a few days and you have to catch up… So many possibilities, so little care to actually figure out what they all are. Maybe wishing you people anything but a happy birthday is just too complicated seeing as the internet is a global village and all. How about this. Happy whatever it is where you happen to be to everybody no matter where or when you are reading these words. Yeah, that should keep the little bastards happy. Oops, I think I typed that out loud. I’ve really gotta stop that.
The other day I was on a bus going somewhere and I saw something that just freaked me out, not to mention pissed me off.
Picture your average day, an average group of people traveling someplace, going about their daily lives, the only thing that they all happen to have in common is their choice of transit, they’re all on a city bus bound for the same place. Now picture the driver sitting up front, piloting who knows how many thousand pounds of people and vehicle down the busy streets of a mid-sized city, deftly avoiding cyclists and pedestrians with the greatest of skill and ease that is possessed by a well-trained public transit opperator. As the bus travels onward, speeding quickly toward it’s destination a ringing is heard. It is the ringing of a cell phone, a sound not foreign to bus commuters. But this ringing is not coming from one of the passengers on the standing room only bus, oh no, this ringing is coming from the front of the bus and is answered by the driver who commences a very jovial private conversation with lord only knows who. I’m sitting pretty close to the front of the bus and can hear every word he’s saying. He’s joking about how he’s in his office right now conducting business. Yes, I think to myself, the business of not getting me killed, get off the fucking phone, idiot! He doesn’t.
So the bus roles on and the driver, with all the skill and grace of a robot stops at every corner to let more people on, even though the bus resembles a goddamn sardine can at this point. It’s so bad in fact that I’m starting to think that a few people who wanted off missed their stops simply because they couldn’t fucking move. Our hero the driver however seems completely oblivious to this and keeps yammering away to whomever is on the phone in his hand.
Finally, we get to the final destination and people start to pile off. Now I’m not sure about other cities, but in mine, it’s customary to say thanks to the driver when you leave a bus and wish him a good day. He in turn, does the same to you. Not this prick. He’s so engrossed in whatever he’s talking about on the phone that he completely ignores everybody getting off and getting on.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that I’ve seen the situation I just described and even more sadly, it won’t be the last time either. I have no problem with cell phones in general, I want to make that clear. I own one, and they really can be quite useful. What I do have a problem with is the use of those phones by people I’m paying to get me somewhere safely, IE cabbies and bus drivers. I don’t own a car so unless I walk everywhere, I have to rely on these people to get me from point A to point B in one piece, and I have to pay them to do so. And since a fair number of these people are prone to driving like maniacs to begin with, I think there should be an outright ban on the use of cell phones by professional drivers while they’re on duty, meaning that whenever they’re taking somebody somewhere, the phone is off. If you’re in the break room or parked under a tree, chat away but don’t do it when you’re taking me somewhere. It’s just disrespectful. In fact, I think the next time somebody does that to me, he’s not getting paid. You don’t pay for shitty service anywhere else, so why should I in this case, when not only the lives of the people in the vehicle are involved, but the lives of those outside of it? Just something to think about.