Like Busses In The Night

, , , , , , , , | Working | September 22, 2020

I am coming home from work on what might be one of the worst days since the start of the health crisis. We were understaffed, ran out of stock, and had a line for the entirety of my five-hour shift. While I am walking home, a bus stops beside me and the driver pops the door.

Bus Driver: “You heading to West Edmonton Mall?”

Me: “Just a bit further.”

I’m preparing to explain how I forgot my wallet and don’t have the fare. 

Bus Driver: “Get on.”

Me: “But—”

Bus Driver: “No, nope. I just had to call 9-1-1 on someone who overdosed. I could use the company.”

So, I got on the bus and we talked. She was running late cause she had stayed with the man until the ambulance showed up, and she was understandably a little shaken up. I talked about how I had been at work all day and nothing seemed to have gone right. 

She was really kind and understanding, and she was just what I needed to feel a little better. 

I don’t actually believe in fate, but I do think she was one of those passing ships that you meet in life. Thank you, random bus lady, and I hope I was able to make your day a little better, too.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for September 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for September 2020!

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Would This Have Been Acceptable Before The Crisis?!

, , , , , | Working | September 17, 2020

Due to the current health crisis, masks are mandatory to wear on public transport, including trains. I’m on the train, reading an article on how the national train company has so far not enforced that rule and will now work harder to make sure that passengers refusing to wear a mask will be removed from the ride. 

At the next stop, a man enters and sits in the seat on the opposite aisle. He has a mask but it’s completely pulled down. He then gets a beer, gnaws it open with his teeth, puts the spit-covered lid on the little table, and begins to drink. I’m a little shocked, but he has headphones in and I also have social anxiety so I don’t dare to confront him and neither does anyone else. 

Soon, he’s starting his second beer — the smell on the train is horrible thanks to that — and the train inspectors come through to check everyone’s tickets. I internally cheer, because there’s four of them so it must mean they actually work harder to make sure everyone’s safe, right? 


They don’t say anything, just check the man’s ticket. No, “Sir, please wear your mask,” or, “Please get off at the next station.” Nothing. The girl sitting across from me looks just as stunned as me. 

The inspectors then stay right in front of our seats, where the doors are, and chat. 

Then, the man without the mask sneezes. Three times. And I don’t mean small sneezes. I have noise-cancelling headphones in on full volume; I can’t even hear the train engines but I can hear that man sneeze loudly. It sounds gross. He also, of course, doesn’t even try to cover his face with his arm or hand. 

The inspectors do nothing. 

One passenger tells the man that he is gross and should wear a mask, pointing to his own mask and all. He doesn’t react. 

The girl in front of me and I make eye contact. Her eyes are huge and she shakes her head at me in disbelief. I do, too, and the man opens his third beer by the time I get off the train. 

I’m considering writing a complaint, since I’m mostly upset at the inspectors, but I feel like it won’t do any good since this wasn’t the first time I witnessed something like this in the last few weeks.

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All Aboard The Passive-Aggressive Express!

, , , , | Friendly | September 1, 2020

I have endometriosis. It’s a fairly common condition, which is unfortunate, because it can also be extremely painful and lead to a whole lot of other physical and mental health problems.

I have just had my second surgery, which went well enough, but I have been in pain and feeling quite weak for a few days after. On the first day I feel like leaving the house, I am to meet my partner for lunch at a place not too far away from home. Usually, I would walk, but I’m still weak, so I opt to take the tram for two stops.

This particular tram line is not used a lot, especially on these stops, so I have the whole vehicle to myself. I still don’t take a priority seat, preferring a seat right near the door, so it would be easier to get up and out; in contrast to this, priority seats have more space that can also accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, prams, etc.

On the next stop, a woman also gets in, carrying a multitude of shopping bags. She turns around, sees me, and decides to stand right next to me, huffing dramatically. Again, the tram is otherwise empty.

I could explain that I have just had surgery and prefer to sit next to the door and that she is free to take any of the remaining fifty-nine seats. However, it’s none of her business, and… she’s free to take any of the remaining fifty-nine seats!

So, I prefer to pretend not to see her, looking happily through the window. I get off at the next stop, and she huffs again because she has to move for me to stand up and again in order to take the seat.

I like to tell this story when people tell me young people are inconsiderate. I would probably have sucked it up if the tram had been full and she had bothered to ask me. But being passive-aggressive with me will only bring people more of the same.

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Getting Carriage Away, Part 2

, , , | Right | August 22, 2020

New Zealand comes out of lockdown and kids go back to school late May. We are still meant to stay away from people outside of our “bubbles” when in public, but you can be close with family members, classmates, and coworkers. My school friends and I are coming home on the trains one Friday in early June; we always sit in the same place and always next to each other. This lady gets our attention.

Lady #1: “Hey! You can’t sit there!”

Friend: “Why not?”

Lady #1: “You are invading each other’s bubbles and the bubbles of the train crew!”

We stay silent; she keeps going.

Lady #1: “Some of you will have to sit elsewhere! Or get off and catch a later train! Those seats are marked for not sitting in for a reason!”

The train is very full; there are no free seats we can sit in without sitting next to strangers. Everyone is staring; someone is filming. My friend opens her mouth to say something.

Lady #2: “This lady is kindly asking you to do something! She is being very nice and you should listen to her!”

We talk to each other and half of us leave to catch the next train, I am one of the people on the original train.

The first lady continues yelling at some male students who get on but, surprisingly, drops it when they talk back to her. Then, she thanks [Lady #2] and says that she takes this train two times a week and she never sees such disrespectful people, ever. We take the same train, same carriage, same seats, and have NEVER seen this lady before

The punchline? [Lady #1] was sitting in a seat that was marked, “DO NOT SIT HERE.”

Getting Carriage Away

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Hey, Mister, Where You Headed? Are You In A Hurry?

, , , , , , | Working | August 13, 2020

Years ago, I used to make a regular run between two cities for the company I worked for. Frequently, I picked up hitchhikers. 

Hitchhiker: “Where are you headed?”

Me: “[City].”

Hitchhiker: “Great! The [Bus Company] driver knows me and he was being an a**hole and stranded me here. When do you expect to get to [City]?”

Me: “[Time].”

Hitchhiker: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I know my route pretty well.”

Hitchhiker: *Laughing* “We’ll beat the bus back. I’ll go talk to the station master when we arrive and I’ll tell him what the jerk did. The proof will be my luggage on the bus.”

I used to drive like a bat out of h***, so I beat the bus by about an hour. My return trip was 225 miles and we passed the bus on the highway before reaching the town. I don’t know how it turned out, as I dropped him off at the depot when we got in.

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