Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The other day on the 218, we had a rather uncomfortable situation.  See, when the driver pulled into the Central Station he was pretty sure the brakes were about to give out, so he traded out that bus for another one.  Unfortunately, this put him about twenty minutes behind schedule.  Doubly unfortunately, the bus he traded out for did not have a functioning wheelchair lift.  Triply unfortunately, there was a wheelchair passenger wanting to board at the very first stop.  It was a bad day for everyone.

The man in the wheelchair did not take the news that he would be unable to ride very well at all.  He was visibly upset.  The bus driver initially pulled away, but then called maintenance and they told him to return to the station.  Of course, the lift worked as soon as the maintenance guy showed up.  Doesn't it always work that way?

The man in the wheelchair was able to board, but he was no happier, at least to the naked eye.  He loudly complained that the bus driver was incompetent, that he needed to be taught how to use the wheelchair lift, etc.  A woman who was sitting near him tried several attempts at calming him down.  He didn't.  I wouldn't have been terribly happy about the situation either, to be honest.  But trust me, UTA does actually train their drivers.

Finally she said to him, "You know what?  People have been trying to ruin my day all day today, but I haven't let them.  If I don't let them, I win."

I think that was probably why I was supposed to ride that bus that day (even though, after the man in the wheelchair got off, far from any transfer points, the lift stopped working altogether and we had to get out and wait for the next bus to come anyway).  Lately commutergirl and I have felt a little ganged-up-on.  I am not confined to a wheelchair, nor do I have to deal with half the problems most of the people I share the bus with do (I'm not even technically transit dependent, though you'd never know the difference).  But it is good to remember that if you don't let people ruin your day, you win.  Everybody in this story was having  a fairly lousy day (almost everyone got put behind at least an hour, for example), but sometimes silly things happen, and you just have to smile.  That's enough depth for tonight.  I'll try to think of something snarkier tomorrow.

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