Ok, so we've all seen gas prices. (The ones I saw today were 4.27 to 4.29 per gallon.) And I've also seen a large jump in people riding the bus to work, something I do on a daily basis. (I don't claim to be at all virtuous: parking here is about 17 bucks for 8 hours, and because I'm a temp, I don't get my parking validated. Busing is a much better option for me, I'm not working my first hour at the job just to pay the parking. I mean, we'd be talking well over 300 bucks a month, on top of gas.)

There are three buses that have routes that travel between the park & ride that I use, and the transit center that's two blocks from where I work. They all arrive and leave around the same 20 minute period. I prefer one because it's an express, which means I get a 10 minute bus ride instead of 20 minutes to half an hour, but I do have days where I just want to get out of the wind and rain and go home and an extra 20 minutes to warm up doesn't sound like a bad deal, especially since I have leisure to read, knit, or just daydream. All three buses have had more passengers in the last two weeks than I've been used to, and for the last week, the morning express bus has been full enough to be standing room only.

I'm mostly lucky. With the exception of a year and a half when I was without a car, I've gotten to drive most places. (It's sort of a necessity in FL, the mass transit sucks.) That year and a half was in Seattle, which has excellent transit. And some of the things I saw in that year and a half, combined with well over a year of daily busing to and from work, have combined to make me think that some people need a smack upside the head with a copy of Miss Manners Guide To Not Being A Prick. These are in no particular order.

1) Your cell phone conversation isn't that interesting. You're not dishing out any dirt and no one wants to hear about how you plan to go smoke out or how you got really wasted last night and threw up everywhere. It's only interesting to you. So, either quiet it down or liven it up.

2) Your conversation with your friend might not be that interesting, either, but if you're having it loudly on a bus, don't be surprised when other people join in, and quit giving the joiner /that/ look, you're the moron being loud. Got it? (Mind you, I've had marvelous conversations with total strangers who enjoyed people butting in.) I'm not asking you not to talk, but please, use your inside voice.

3) This is a general rule: I don't want your life story unless I've asked. Don't give it to me. Really. Please. I had enough of that in my early 20s, and I'm just not normally rude enough to say, "Did I ask?" Likewise, don't tell me all about paganism because you read a book.

4) Headphones/earbuds. Use them. Love them. Worship them. And try to be aware that the crappy ones will let everyone else hear your music, too.

5) For the love of pete, stop horsing around! I've seen bus drivers claim kids were fighting and toss them off the bus for mock-fighting. I approved of this action, as one kid was jostled into me several times. It was a vast relief.

6) Keep your religion to yourself. Public transit is not an opportunity for you to proselytise to a captive audience. And don't expect me to be polite when asked if I've accepted Jesus into my heart, or if I'm born again. No, I'm not born again, I got it right the first time, and my life isn't a series of rebirths, it's an ongoing journey wherein I try to add to my knowledge. I'm happy for you that you had an epiphany, but I didn't have yours, and don't want yours. Thanks, good day to you. (Come to think of it, don't do political proselytizing on the bus, either.)

7) Acknowledge your driver. This person has a crappy job, driving the same streets over and over, and stopping frequently to pick you up. Say hello. Say thank you. Wish them a good day. Say something to them.

8) If you see someone in need, offer your seat. They might not take it, but being kind makes everyone around you feel warmer and happier for a while.

9) Put your bags on the floor by your feet, or in your lap. Or pay an extra fare. No one should be standing because you can't be bothered to put your backpack in your lap.

10) Keep those filthy shoes on the floor, thanks. I don't want to sit in whatever you've walked in, I get enough germs from the office.

11.) Please, please, please, cough into your jacket or the crook of your elbow. I don't want your interesting diseases, I have my own.

12.) If you're having a bad day, keep it to yourself. I don't want my fascinating conversation with a total stranger stomped on, just because you're a jerk. You don't have to join in on the conversation, but quit trying to squash it, because I don't squash.

13.) Public grooming is nasty. I was on the bus and some woman started clipping her fingernails. Aside from the clicking that just bothered me, it rather grossed me out. We won't go into the fingernail that was a leaper and landed in someone's lap. It's not polite to leave bits of yourself in other people's laps. It's just not.

14.) All kinds of people ride the bus: homeless people, students of all ages, parents with children, business people, interesting ethnicities, etc. Be tolerant, and don't assume they're all out to get you.

15.) I don't mind cute, little PDAs. But if you get into extended makeout sessions, I might start commenting on technique and offering suggestions. Be warned. You're on the back of a bus, not the backseat of a car.

16.) Accept and offer little kindnesses. If you see someone's grocery bag is splitting, and you have a few extras in your backpack, go ahead and offer it, the bus won't crack in half.

17.) The buses are getting crowded. Strangers are going to sit next to you. Your personal aura will be invaded. Please, just deal with it, ok? If someone gropes you, sure, rip off a body part. But most bumps aren't intentional. 

18.)  Good lord, people, do something with your offspring.  Parent them.  Read to them or at least make sure they're sitting still and not kicking anyone or being too obnoxious!  You get some leeway, kids will be kids, but they don't have to be mannerless clowns!

If anyone else has anything to add to this list, feel free to toss it in. I'm sure it's highly derivative, just now, but I'm giving credit, I've been thinking of this since 

[personal profile] cadhla first wrote hers, so I'm giving credit off of the person I've been deriving from...from whom I've been deriving...the person I'm trying not to plagiarize. Oh, damn grammar, anyway. I'm giving credit where due, that's it!

 

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