Becky Says...

November 2011

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Monday - November 21

A bus tale.

I got to my bus stop early enough this morning to have time to sit and chat with a couple of friends. Because we were still chatting, I wound up following them to about the middle of the bus, which gave me an excellent vantage point for what happened at a bus stop about three miles from my stop in Chapel Hill.

Oh wait---I haven't told you that the bus I take from Hillsborough is part of a regional system, and there is a fare to ride it. A very small fare. Passes are available, at different price points. I won't bore you with the list.

Back to the story. At the stop mentioned above, a woman got on the bus. She had a pass that the electronic pass reader didn't want to approve. Apparently she's an infrequent rider, and had gotten a shorter-term pass than she realized. Anyway, the bus driver, who has proved himself to be a jerk on many occasions, decided to be a jerk about it. He took the pass, and we thought all was well. Then he called her back to the front of the bus and started a combination lecture and yammer session about passes and using them correctly.

We wound up sitting through about five minutes of this, during which the woman offered to get off the bus and take a free one that would be at the same stop in a few minutes. Even that didn't shut him up. What finally did was another passenger pulling money out of his wallet and offering to pay the fare, because "I need to get to work, man." Suddenly the driver backed down, telling both people that the pass was fine and that no money was needed.

We got to Chapel Hill just late enough for me to miss a connecting bus (only had to wait a few minutes for the next one). While I was waiting, the man who had offered to pay the fare was waiting for his bus. I thanked him for intervening, and we talked about the driver a bit.

Then he said he remembered meeting me about two years ago when I was feeling faint downtown waiting for a bus back to my apartment. He was walking me to my bus stop when I fainted. He helped out till he had to let others take over so he wouldn't miss the last bus to Hillsborough I remembered the event, of course, and that a very kind person headed to Hillsborough had helped, but it had been fairly dark and I wasn't well that night.

As his next bus was approaching, he offered me the newspaper he had been reading. He left, and as I was reading the paper I found a story to share with a fairly new acquaintance. I'll tell you more about that soon.

Text copyright 2000-2011 Becky