This Driver Is Bus(t)  

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2020

(Since my wife takes the car to work, I take the bus to school. There is a bus stop right next to the house so it’s no trouble. Normally, there’s no problem with this arrangement as the majority of bus drivers are relatively attentive and will stop if they see people. Then, there’s this time. He flies right past me, leaving me screaming and chasing the bus. A passenger yells at the bus driver which forces him to stop after a couple of blocks. I decide to be cool about it, even though it seriously irritates me.)

Bus Driver: *passive, not even looking towards me* “Sorry ’bout that.”

Me: “I guess we all have off days.”

(I pay for my ride and sit. During the ride, he stops for people who start talking to him; clearly they know each other. They don’t even pay but he lets them sit and keeps talking. They don’t even ask for a stop but he does stop where they need to go. Right as I’m starting to think it was just a one-off moment, he blows past the next bus stop, where an old, thin man with a walking cast is holding his cane up to ask to get on the bus. I shout at the bus driver to stop. He backs up the bus about 200 feet back to the stop, incredibly dangerous. The old man gets on the bus, and the driver doesn’t apologize. Now my stop is coming up, so I pull the stop-request lever, naively assuming that the bus driver knows this means the next bus stop is where I want to go. I am mistaken and he blows by my stop.)

Me:Excuse me! I pulled the lever! Stop the bus!”

Bus Driver: “This isn’t one of my stops! I don’t have to!”

Me: *standing up, which means if he keeps driving he is knowingly endangering passengers so he’s forced to stop if he doesn’t want to get fired* “Actually, you do. The official stops are to denote expected timing. You have to stop whenever people are at bus stops, and at the next stop when someone pulls the lever!”

(He stops the bus in the middle of a busy intersection, a couple of blocks away from my stop.)

Bus Driver: *aggressive and angry* “GET OFF MY BUS!”

Me: *mocking and snarky* “WITH PLEASURE! Have a NICE. DAY.”

(I got off the bus and immediately called the bus dispatch and complained about him, both about what happened to me and to the old man. It turns out he had just barely gotten out of mandatory retraining, and this was his first day back after having been forced off the job for a legal infraction. I don’t know if he’s still working for the bus company, but he was taken off my route and one of the good bus drivers returned!)

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No… We DON’T KNOW… Please Elaborate

, , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(I have a few chronic conditions which require regular doctor’s visits. My boyfriend takes me since I can’t drive. He’s a tall, muscular black man, and he has a heart of gold. At one visit, we get a new nurse. She keeps giving me worried looks, and when my boyfriend steps out to take a work call, she drops her voice to a whisper.)

Nurse: “Ma’am, do you need help?”

Me: “I… What?”

Nurse: “You can be honest here. Do you need me to call the police? Is he hurting you?”

Me: “My boyfriend? No!”

Nurse: “Well… he’s… you know… so if you ever need help…”

Me: “No, but can I talk to the doctor?”

(The doctor was not too happy when he found out about the nurse’s conversation. She was fired soon after.)

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Pretty Sure Those Things Leave A Bigger Bite

, , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(It’s been less than a year since I moved roughly 1550 miles to my new home. When mosquito season comes around I have a pretty bad reaction to the bites. Since I can’t just go to work covered in calamine, I put adhesive bandages over them. There are a lot. And the only bandages I have are neon. Because of this, at work, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid questions from customers about what happened. I tell dramatic lies and almost everyone plays along.)

Young Girl: “What happened to your arms?”

Me: “I fought a bear...”

Young Girl: *blandly* “Oh.”

Me: “…and won.”

Young Girl: “Okay.”

(She paid for her items and left without another word. The next customer began asking questions about my fierce battle. It still amuses me that out of all the stories I made up that day, the only person who wouldn’t play along was a little kid.)

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A Healthy Belief In Paranoia

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(The store I work in is small and quiet, sometimes not getting customers for an hour or more. Naturally, most of us spend a lot of time on our phones. I try to be professional about it and only be on my phone if there are no customers around. Even a single customer anywhere in the store, and my phone stays off, no matter how bored I get. None of my coworkers are that cautious, even though I keep reminding them that management can spy on us through the cameras at any time. One day, we’ve just opened, and the only people around are me at the register and the owner in the office. An hour later, he comes out and sees me sitting there playing with my phone. Worried he might disapprove, I immediately start defending myself.)

Me: “Sir, I swear I’m never on my phone when there are any customers around.”

Owner: “You know what? That’s what they all say… and you’re the only one I believe. You’re fine.”

(It’s an interesting feeling when you realize your paranoia was completely justified.)

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It Pays To Look Out For Each Other

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(I have been receiving government benefits for a little while after leaving a violent relationship and being homeless. I finally get my own place and inform the agency responsible for the benefits; they tell me will send a rent certificate out so my landlord can sign it so I’ll receive assistance in paying rent. Fast forward a month: despite asking numerous times for it, it never arrives. I’m just managing to pay my rent but have very little left for food, bills, and essential medication. I go into an office to get one so my landlord can sign it before leaving the country for three months. I spend an hour and a half waiting for two pieces of paper, run and get my landlord to sign what he needs to, and then head back to the office. I wait another hour for a lady to take the papers.)

Lady #1: “It will be in your next pay.” *starts to walk off*

Me: “Excuse me, but I’ve waited for a month for the rent certificate. I really need the money. Shouldn’t I get back paid?”

Lady #1: “It will be with your next pay.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I was told it could be done immediately. I would also like to know how much the assistance will be.”

Lady #1: “Fine, take a seat and I’ll find out.”

(I wait another twenty minutes.)

Lady #1: “It will be [amount that’s $50 less than should be] and will be with your next pay. If you want money now, you have to get on the phone.” *walks away*

(I get on the phone to a department that is notorious for keeping people waiting and then not helping. I am extremely lucky to get a woman who goes above and beyond. She messages the lady I originally dealt with to actually upload the paperwork — which she hasn’t done — and gets the amount I am to receive corrected. Because the office I am in is closing, the lady I originally dealt with tells me I have to leave. The second lady promises to call me on my mobile once she has everything sorted out. Twenty minutes later, [Lady #2] calls me and verifies who I am.)

Lady #2: “I have some good news: [correct amount] will be in your account overnight. I’m sorry for what happened today at the office but I’ve had four people working on it and it has been escalated to a supervisor.”

Me: “Thank you so much. Everyone else I’ve dealt with didn’t care, but you’ve been amazing. I really appreciate it.”

Lady #2: “Not a problem; I’m glad I could help. Now you mentioned you need medication; is there anything else you need tonight? I won’t be able to give a lot right now as the money will be in your account tomorrow, but I can see what I can do.”

Me: “Just my meds, which will be about [amount], and something for dinner.”

Lady #2: “What about getting home? It’s too hot to be walking long distances.”

Me: “I have enough on [travel card] to get home. Thank you.”

Lady #2: “Okay, I’ve just put [amount] on your account, which means you’ll get [amount] tomorrow. Things will get better; keep your head up.”

Me: *now crying* “Thank you so much. You’ve been amazing. No one else I’ve talked to has cared. Thank you, have an amazing rest of your day.”

(This might not seem like a lot, but the second lady I spoke too really went above and beyond to get it sorted and make me feel better. So, to the lady, if you’re reading this, thank you; your kind words and going the extra mile to fix others’ mistakes for someone on the end of the phone really made a difference.)

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