This Is Going To Be A Train Wreck

, | Long Beach, CA, USA | Right | July 31, 2017

(The metro stations in town are going renovations and are closed for the weekends for the following month. Despite multiple posted messages I find people keep trying to board the train station near my home. I’m on the adjacent street when I hear a woman screaming on the platform.)

Woman: “Where is the f****** train! I’ve been waiting for a god-d***d hour! Stupid workers should all be fired!”

(Before I can do anything I hear the intercom turn on.)

Intercom: “Ma’am, I have already instructed you, the stations are closed and will be closed until Monday. You have to take the shuttle at [Nearby Bus Stop] to the nearest active platform.”

Woman: *shouting at intercom speaker* “F*** you, you stupid b****! If the station was closed they would have said something about it! I’m not leaving until you bring the train here!”

(From the street I could see that the ticket machines were bolted closed, the meter readers covered with orange safety hoods, and a pair of signs at the entrance saying the station was closed. The woman had walked by all of this seemingly without noticing anything amiss. Amazingly, she took another 20 minutes of convincing before finally leaving the train station.)

Driving Home The Kindness One Quarter At A Time

, , , , | Hopeless | June 11, 2017

(I’m a student, newly living on my own, and money is very, very tight. After work one night, I’ve gone to visit a couple of friends in their new apartment. It’s about one am when I’m heading home, and very cold, so I decide to take the bus instead of walking, even though I can’t easily afford it. The bus pulls up and I get on, and I’m putting in quarters as I chat with the driver. After a few minutes of pleasant back-and-forth, I glance down at the paybox.)

Me: “Rats. I wasn’t keeping track of how much I put in. Probably about 75 cents to a dollar. Let me dig out another dollar…”

Bus Driver: “You know what? It’s late; it’s cold; it’s close enough. Go take a seat, and have a great night!”

Me: “Really? Thanks!”

(It was only a dollar or so, but it meant I could do laundry that week instead of waiting another week, and the thought was greatly appreciated. I made sure to thank him and wish him a good night as I got off!)

Trained To Take Trains From High-Vis Staff

, , , , , | Right | June 10, 2017

(I am a contract truck driver doing short haul. This means I catch a train to where the truck is, drive it and then catch a train to the next job or home. I have a large bag of essentials and a small folding bike with me, but above all I am wearing a hi-vis jacket. I catch a LOT of trains. I have just dropped off a truck at Gatwick Airport and am standing perusing the departure board for the trains when someone comes and taps me on the shoulder.)

American Lady: “Excuse me, can you tell me where the train to Victoria goes from?”

Me: “Erm… From Platform 4 or 5, they alternate. Take the lift over there and listen to the announcements.”

(I turned back and work out my own train was going in 20 minutes from Platform 7. As I was about to head there another couple approached me with the same question. I directed them, too… and the next… and the next. At one point I had a small queue. At no point did anyone question that I had a bike and bag with me. They just saw the hi-vis and made the assumption. After 15 minutes I made my escape and caught my own train.)

Providing A Good(s) Service

, , , | Right | June 7, 2017

(I’m on a bus. It’s quiet early in the morning and raining quite hard. It’s not a nice day. A young man walks onto the bus via the second set of doors and sits down without paying. He is wearing headphones. The bus driver has noticed.)

Driver: *in Eastern European accent* “You have to buy a ticket.”

(The man does not move, but smirks a little.)

Driver: “This bus goes nowhere until you buy ticket.”

(Again the man ignores the driver, smirking. This goes on for about two more minutes until the bus driver gets fed up. He gets out of his cab and walks towards the man. At this point, you realise the bus driver is 6’6” and built like a brick outhouse — not someone you would want to mess with. He looms over the man, who is now looking at his phone intensely, ignoring the driver.)

Driver: “These people are busy. I don’t have time to deal with you. Ticket. Now.”

(The man still ignores the driver, so the driver reaches out and takes the wireless headphones off the man.)

Passenger: “Hey!”

Driver: “Where I come from, people who cannot afford to pay for services pay with goods. This is your ticket now.”

(The driver went and sat back down in his cab, taking the headphones with him. The young man looked sheepish and got up to retrieve his headphones and pay for a ticket, but was instead thrown off the bus for “Being a poor example of mankind” by the driver who got applause for not taking any s***. The man did get his headphones back.)

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When She Gets Home She Will Reign Down On You

, , , , | Related | June 6, 2017

(The summer of 2013 was pretty tough on my family. My dad lost his job and was unemployed for three months (April through July), and when I graduated college in May, I had nothing lined up. I had to apply anywhere I could get some work; this ended up being the local burrito place. Dad no longer had a vehicle as his transport had been the company vehicle, and I had no car of my own, so we were heavily dependent on public transportation. Sometimes my dad would walk up to the nearby bus stop to meet me so he could get some exercise. One afternoon, I called him as I left the shop.)

Me: “Hey, Dad, you walking up to meet me today?”

Dad: “You’re a big girl, honey; I think you can manage it yourself for this time.”

Me: *rolling my eyes but not letting it come through in my voice* “Okay, then I’ll see you at home in about 90 minutes.”

(The bus ride was uneventful, but as we drove, I began to notice the sky getting more and more gray. No worries, I thought, surely I would beat the storm home. I got off the bus at the closest stop to my house (about 30 minutes by foot) — and within five minutes, the sky opened up. My purse wasn’t large enough to carry an umbrella, so I trudged home with the rain soaking me to the skin. When I got home, my father at least had the decency to look ashamed of himself.)

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