Hop On The Bus, Gus!

I had a post that I wrote last night all ready to go so that I could get to bed faster, but I’m so annoyed now I don’t think I would be able to sleep anyway.

And why am I annoyed you might ask?

The subway fucking sucks!!!

That’s why.

As many of you know I deal with the public on an almost nightly basis.  I do so without pissing them off, without yelling at them, without raising my voice, or even annoying them.  I understand the want to do these things some time, but I’m paid to deal with the public.  It’s my job and so I try to be as nice and as accommodating as possible.  It seems not everyone subscribes to this idea.

I live on the “A” line in New York.  It’s the blue line and I take it at least twice a day nearly every day.  For the most part it’s fast and efficient and sometimes it’s even on time.  I have better luck with that than my roommate does because I’m usually not traveling during rush hour.  The thing that sucks about the “A” train is that for the past million years the transit people have been doing maintenance on the tracks.  This translates to interrupted service at night and on the weekends.  During the week it usually means that I have to transfer to a shuttle train that will take me home.  9 out of 10 times this is fine.  The shuttle train is waiting for us, and it adds about three or four minutes to the commute.  Unfortunately the 1 time means waiting for the shuttle another 20 minutes before I go home.  If you had the 20 minutes I waited for the train in the first place, the 20 minutes I waited for the train in the second place and the 40 minutes it takes to get home.  It makes for a very long trip and very cranky maddog.

On the weekends it’s even more fun.  From 168th Street to 207th Street, there are shuttle buses that run that take you to the subway stops.  So when I want to go to work, I walk to the bus stop and a bus comes along and picks me up and takes me to the 168 subway stop.  It’s the reverse coming home.  And in theory this should only add about 7 or 8 minutes to the trip.  Going to work today that was not the case.  The shuttle bus came as soon as I was there and took me to 168.  And then I went down to the platform and waited almost 30 minutes for the train to arrive.  I got to work almost 45 minutes later than I normally do.  I go in early so I’m not in danger of being late, but it meant swallowing my food whole before my shift.

Needless to say I’m already cranky about the subway.

So tonight I get on the train after waiting almost 15 minutes.  This because the train was almost 10 minutes late.  Yes, there is a schedule that they are supposed to keep.  I get on the train and go to 168.  I get off the train and head upstairs to the bus stop.  As I come around the corner I’m directed by a very friendly man who says “Anyone going to Fort Washington Way stand here, anyone going to 207 via Broadway stand back there.”  So I do as I’m told and go to my assigned place.  And in about 30 seconds a bus pulls up to my area.  I should mention that it’s 26 degrees outside right now.  So the bus pulls up and we all start piling on.  As I make my way on I hear the driver mention that it’s the Fort Washington Way bus, NOT the Broadway bus.  So I get off.  At the same exact time another bus pulls up.  And the very friendly guy directs us to that bus to get to 207.  So the doors open and we all pile on only to be told that this bus is ALSO going to Fort Washington Way.  So I get off the bus and am somewhat confused.  It completely baffles me that there would be two buses going to one place and no buses going to the other.

So I go back to the first bus.

I step up and ask “Are both buses going to Fort Washington Way?”

Reply:  “I’m going to Fort Washington Way.”

“Yes, but are both buses going to Fort Washington Way?”

“That’s what I said, I’m going to Fort Washington Way.”

“I know you are going to Fort Washington Way, are both buses going to Fort Washington Way.”

Getting louder.

“I’ve already told you (louder still) I’m going to Fort Washington Way.”

“And I’ve already asked you, are BOTH buses going to Fort Washington Way.”

Yelling even louder.

“What don’t you understand, I’m going to Fort Washington Way.”

Trying not to be an ass, I say, “Stop yelling at me, I’m just trying to find out what’s going on.”

Yelling louder.

“And I’ve already told you I’M GOING TO FORT WASHINGTON WAY.”

I reply.

“You still haven’t answered the question and you don’t have to be an ass about it.”

Yelling even louder.

“You are an asshole.  Get off my bus.” 

So I kind of lost my temper and finally yelled back, which I regretted but you can only take so much being prodded at 3:30 in the morning after working (with the public) for ten hours.  My feet hurt, it’s cold as fuck and I just want to go home.

So I get off the bus and go to the very friendly man, whose now becoming agitated and I ask him which bus is going to take me home.  He replies that he’s trying to find this out.

At this moment both buses pull away from the curb at the same time.  Both going to Fort Washington Way.  One bus has about 20 people on it.  The other bus has 2 people on it.

So I move back up against the building along with everyone else and try to stay warm.  After about 6 or 7 minutes another bus pulls up.  And we all crowd around.

Anyone out there want to guess where this fucking bus is going.

Yep!  It’s going to Fort Washington Way.  After another three or four minutes it pulls away.  With guess how many passengers.  Exactly NONE.

At this time everyone is starting to get annoyed.

I have to wait almost 20 minutes from the time I got off the train to the time the “real”  bus pulls up.  And so now we are all on the bus.  And we sit there.  And sit.  And sit.  And by this time another train has arrived because there are more people coming out of the subway.  And we wait.  And we wait.

And FINALLY we leave the station.  I didn’t get home till 4:15.  I got to the subway station at 2:45.  After working a million hours, and not yelling at anyone.

And now I’m annoyed.  And I wished I had told the bus driver that if he was so angry and hated his job so much that he should really start combing the want-ads for a new one.  I also wish that I’d thought to get his ID number so that I could included it in the email that I’ve already sent to the MTA about it’s lousy service and rude employees.

Have a great Sunday.  Dammit.

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5 thoughts on “Hop On The Bus, Gus!

  1. Lemuel March 30, 2008 / 07:55

    Zheesh! It is a wonder that there was not a riot! The bus driver’s attitude and responses were WAY out of line. Even without the badge number, I would write a nasty letter to the authority, to the Council rep, to the mayor, to everyone I could think of, even the dog catcher and complain. This driver should be living out of a cardboard box over a steamy grate.

    I’d be in more than a sour mood if I were you, Maddog!

  2. Michael March 30, 2008 / 08:53

    Will the trackwork on the A line ever be done? EVER??? I feel your pain.

  3. Crash March 30, 2008 / 23:00

    And the real indignity is that they keep raising the fees while the service gets progressively worse.

    If any of the asshats who come up with the fares ever actually rode a subway or bus, I think they’d be less inclined to keep raising the fares.

  4. Sarah March 31, 2008 / 08:15

    Few things drive me as crazy as clearly asking a specific question and not being able to get an answer to it. I feel you pain and your sore feet and your cold nose.

  5. dirkmancuso March 31, 2008 / 16:48

    You were far nicer than I would’ve been. And trust me when I say I would’ve finished every sentence with his ID number to help make my point.

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