Some of you will recall that, about a month ago, I witnessed a bus driver behaving so rudely toward one of my fellow 48 passengers that I felt compelled to create a new award. Unlike the esteemed Golden Transfer, this is an award of shame, its purpose to expose particularly egregious bus behavior.
I don’t have a name for this award yet. (I like BUSter, BUSted, or Expired Transfer. Busnerd insists on Out of Service. A few readers have also sent some good suggestions.) I do, however, have another winner.
This morning, again on the 48, a woman with a reduced fare card got on the bus without paying. The driver gently reminded her that the ride cost 25 cents. The woman showed the card again and (rather rudely) insisted that she didn’t have to pay. The driver explained that the reduced fare permit entitled her to a reduced-cost trip, not a free one. “You don’t have to pay this time,” she said, “but you should know for the future.”
“I already paid for this card. Why would I pay again? You’re giving me false information.”
The driver, still calm and polite, directed the woman’s attention to the fare sign by the door, which clearly stated that those with reduced fare permits are required to pay 25 cents per ride.
“I’m going to have to talk to your supervisor about this. I’m going to say you’re giving false information.”
The driver attempted to explain the system again, then gave up and continued driving her route. The woman, on the other hand, was not ready to let the subject go.
“You’re giving false information. I’m going to talk to your supervisor. Stop giving me false information.”
And so on, ad nauseam, until it was time for her to get off, at which point she leaned into the driver’s face, screamed (one more time for good measure), “Stop giving false information!” and stormed down the steps.
Perhaps today’s incident was the universe’s attempt to right itself, a reversal of roles intended to rebalance the 48 driver/rider Karma. Now that things are even, let’s have a moratorium on yelling and public humiliation–at least before 9 AM.