Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wouldn't you know it, sometimes things bug me!

I ride the bus to work. A cool deal with my job is that they offer bus passes to those who don't get parking passes, so non-drivers like me can take any buses necessary to get there, at no cost. And then I have the added perk of free bus rides even when I'm not going to work. It's a very pleasant arrangement.

Unfortunately, I'm not the most pleasant of people (though I generally make efforts against that). I sometimes let minor things annoy me (not just on the bus!), and it's usually stuff that other people do. Public transportation = plenty of other people. Someone is bound to annoy me at one point or another.

Exhibit A: People who wave for the bus to stop. Guess why it's called a bus stop, folks! And this isn't at stops served by multiple buses, where one would conceivably have to tell a driver, "Hey, you're running the one I'm looking for." (I've been passed by at such stops because I was distracted, didn't see the bus coming, and gave no indication I wanted on.) It could be absolutely clear that only one bus will ever stop there, and yet people will wave at the bus as though their mere presence at the bus stop isn't an indicator that they need the bus to stop.

Exhibit B: People who don't realize the "request stop" cord has already been pulled. The cord need only be pulled once between stops to indicate that someone wants to get off. As such, only the first pull of it causes the "ping" noise to sound and the obnoxious pre-recorded voice to announce a stop has been requested. The LED sign at the front of the bus will continually say "STOP REQUESTED" on it, and some buses also have a light come on behind a sign with the same text. Nevertheless, people will pull an already-pulled cord, then start yanking on it waiting for sounds to be produced (and occasionally, for good measure, get up and walk to the other side of the bus and yank the cord there. One inexperienced bus rider actually walked up to the driver and asked him to stop because she couldn't make the noise happen). I'm in no position to cast the first stone, since I've been distracted at the time the cord was pulled for the stop I needed, and unnecessarily pulled the cord myself. But once I did that fruitlessly, I looked up and saw that the signs were lit and realized the error of my ways. I don't understand how people can be unaware of their surroundings like that.

Exhibit C: Time interrupters. This relates to the LED sign mentioned above. When it doesn't display "STOP REQUESTED," it shows the date and the time. I like to stay abreast of the time, and until recently (I found a watch on the bus), the LED sign was my only way. However, it won't display the time if a stop is requested. I understand that people have to get off the bus, but it has happened that I've gone miles on the bus without seeing the time, because people would pull the cord for stop B the moment the doors closed at stop A. It's a minor inconvenience (especially now that I have a timepiece of my own), but it always makes me a little nuts when the sign is just about to show the time right when someone pulls the cord.

I don't get as bothered about this as these huge paragraphs might suggest. But when the little, slightly bothersome things happen often enough, it becomes easy to go on at length about them. I didn't intend to convey myself as a 25-year-old curmudgeon when I created this blog, but there you go. At least I'm not a curmudgeon out loud (about this, anyway).

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