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    A Directionless Conversation

    | Canada | Bigotry, Transportation

    (I am 16. I work in a car dealership’s customer service department on weekends.)

    Me: “Service department, [name] speaking, how may I help you?”

    (An elderly customer answers.)

    Customer: “I’m having a hard time finding your dealership. Can someone give me directions?”

    Me: “Sure, can you tell me where you are now?”

    (I begin giving her directions when she interrupts me.)

    Customer: “No, I need someone else to give me directions.”

    Me: “I know exactly where you are, and it’s very easy to get here. All you have to do is—”

    Customer: “No. No, I need a man to give me directions.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I need a man to give me directions.”

    Me: “Okay, just give me a moment.”

    (I page my male co-worker, but he is busy with another customer.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but he’s busy. Can I give you directions now?”

    Customer: “No, I need to speak to a man. I’ll wait.”

    (I go talk to another co-worker and explain the situation. He answers the phone and gives her directions. Twenty minutes later, she arrives.)

    Me: “Good afternoon.”

    Customer: “Ugh, I had the hardest time getting here.”

    Me: “Oh, really? Which way did you go?”

    (She explains.)

    Me: “If I were you I would have gone this way…”

    (I once again explain the exact same directions I gave to her on the phone.)

    Customer: “Well, that would have been so much easier! I wish I had gotten you on the phone!”

    Me: “Actually, you did. Please help yourself to a complimentary beverage.”

    (The lady blushes and then hurries to our waiting room.)

    The Drive To Do Good

    | Woodbridge, VA, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Religion, Transportation

    (I am a habitual rider of the local transit system that covers DC metro and northern VA. I board the bus to see a rider verbally assaulting the bus driver.)

    Rider: “I don’t care about your timeline route. You were supposed to go to [street] to drop me off 45 minutes ago. That last driver missed my stop and your operator assured me I would be home on this bus by 6:25!”

    Driver: “Ma’am, I cannot directly deviate from my route until I’m closer to your stop. To deviate now would be to leave any other potential riders along the route stranded in the cold. I am truly sorry that you are having a bad evening due to a coworker, and I’ll do what I can.”

    Rider: “Do what you can?! Do I look like the normal low-element that ride this bus? I am an educated woman with a job working for the federal government. Do look like I’m another one of your lowlife un-educated passengers?”

    Driver: “Ma’am, I am a faithful man, and I know that God doesn’t give you us more than we can handle. For every negative that happens, he provides a positive. It is my prayer that when you get home tonight that you have a present evening.”

    (This quiets her down considerably after that. Before I got off I handed him a note I wrote him with a $10 bill in it that read…)

    “Sir.

    Yours is one of the hardest jobs in the county. It good to know that you are a man of faith, and you’re right about God balancing the books, but until then here’s a down payment on some fortune for you.”

    The Drive To Do Good

    | Dublin, Ireland | Awesome Workers, Theme Of The Month, Top, Transportation

    (I have a bunch of friends over for a concert, and we all stay at the same place in South County Dublin, about 20 minutes from the City Centre. It is almost midnight by the time we get to the bus stop. Dublin Bus provides a free shuttle service to the concert, but by that time all the free shuttle buses are gone. Just then, an out of service bus arrives.)

    Bus Driver: “Hm, there’s a lot of you left here. Tell you what: we’ll just pretend I’m a shuttle.”

    Me: “Sorry, when’s the next Nightlink?

    Bus Driver: “That just left; the next one’s at 02:00 h. You might have to get a cab.”

    (I try to call Enquiries for a cab company, but can’t because my phone is out of battery. My friends are all from abroad and therefore don’t have Irish Enquiry numbers on their phones. The bus driver overhears our increasingly worried conversation and gives me his phone. At this stage we’re almost at Trinity College, where the shuttle terminates.)

    Me: “Thanks, are you going on to Donnybrook Garage?”

    Bus Driver: “Yeah, don’t worry. You can stay on.”

    (I try to get a cab, but am told by the cab company that they can’t send out a seven-seater to the bus garage but we should just flag one down—pretty much an impossibility.)

    Me: *to my friends* “S***, we’ll have to flag one down… or two, rather.”

    (At this stage, the only people left on the bus are me, my friends and one guy on the back bench. We’re all getting seriously worried about getting home.)

    Bus Driver: “Right, so where are you all going?”

    Me: “Deansgrange!”

    Guy on the back bench: “Dun Laoghaire!”

    (Both these suburbs are off the same main road, about three miles apart.)

    Bus Driver: “Shag it, I’ll drop you all home!”

    (The driver dropped us, and presumably the guy from Dun Laoghaire, all the way to our respective street corners, thus staying on about half an hour after his shift ended and going out of his way about 10 miles there and back. All we had to repay him for his awesomeness was one of our homemade message board badges commemorating the concert meet-up and half a Duty Free bag of gummi bears, and he accepted them with a smile. That’s why I love this country.)

    Respect Is Learned Before It Is Earned

    | Phoenix, AZ, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month, Top, Transportation

    (I am a teenage passenger on a public bus and there is an older gentleman talking so loudly on his cell phone that he’s drowning out my music player. I talk to the driver, who’s clearly just as annoyed by the man as the rest of us are.)

    Me: “He’s being really loud. Is there anything you can do about it?”

    Driver: “I would, but I’ve already been written up twice this week because rude customers complained about me telling them off; one more and I lose my job. I can’t take the chance.”

    Me: “Okay, no problem…”

    (I go over and stand in front of the rude passenger who’s still on his phone.)

    Rude Passenger: *to his phone* “…KIDS ARE SO RUDE THESE DAYS! THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THEIR ELDERS!”

    Me: “Excuse me, sir.”

    (He ignores me and keeps talking. I decide enough is enough, and snatch the phone from him and turn it off before handing it back to him.)

    Me: “First off, it’s rude to ignore someone when they address you. Second, it’s really disrespectful to be so loud in a public space; I couldn’t even hear my music over your griping. Maybe you wouldn’t have so much to complain about if you set a better example.”

    (He was quiet the entire rest of the trip, and the driver gave me a free all-day pass!)

    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 6

    | Orlando, FL, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid, Transportation

    (I work as a food runner for a hospital. My job requires me to wear a tuxedo. One day after work, I stop by a nearby dollar store to get a soda. I’m sitting on the bench outside the store drinking my soda when a fancy car pulls up right in front of me. A man gets out and walks around the car.)

    Man: “Ahem.”

    (I look up at him and see he’s looking right at me, but I don’t do anything.)

    Man: *louder* “Ahem!”

    Me: “What?”

    Man: “You incompetent moron! Do you need to be told how to do your job?”

    Me: “What are you talking about?”

    Man: “That’s it, you’ve just lost your tip. Now get over here and park my car.”

    (I realized he must think I’m a valet because I’m still wearing my tux.)

    Me: “I don’t work here, dude. Leave me alone.”

    Man: “You will address me as ‘sir’, and you will do your job right now, or I will go into that store, find your manager and have you fired for your unprofessional behavior. Look at you, drinking cola while you’re on the job! It’s because of people like you that our economy is collapsing!”

    Me: “Listen, a**hole, I already told you I don’t work here. Leave me alone and park your own d*** car.”

    Man: “That does it, I’m going to find your manager! You’ll be standing in line at the soup kitchen this time next week!”

    (He locks his car door and storms into the store. About five minutes later, he returns with the store manager, pointing furiously at me.)

    Man: “There, you see? That’s the valet who refused to park my car and insulted me! I demand that you fire him immediately!”

    (The manager looks at him like he’s insane.)

    Manager: “Sir, we don’t have valets. He doesn’t work here.”

    Man: “I don’t want to hear your excuses! You will fire that man immediately!”

    Manager: “I told you already, that guy doesn’t work for us. This is [name of store].”

    Man: “Have you all lost your minds? You think that because Obama’s in the White House that you can get away with not showing me the respect I deserve? You think Obama will save you after people like you destroy this country?”

    (The man rants about President Obama and the “destruction of American values” for a good two minutes. The manager is too stunned to say anything. Finally the man gets back in his car and drives away. The manager looks at me and I just shrug.)

    Related:
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 5

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