John and I commute by bus. Our schedules align in the morning, so we are on the same bus, although he bikes to a more distant bus stop. It’s his way.
Apparently some of the other passengers at his stop have been grumbling about the driver. She’s too slow, she’s too hesitant, she talks too much. Things came to a head yesterday morning.
The driver was having a long conversation–mostly a monologue–with a passenger, on the subject of organic food (she is in favor it it). Two of the complaining women were seated in the first forward-facing bench; we were on the sideways facing bench.
After muttering for a while, one of the women got up and said to the passenger closest to the driver, “Don’t talk to her so much. She’s here to drive the bus, not talk to you.” The passenger looked at her and went back to the conversation. The woman then tapped John on the shoulder and said, “Tell her not to talk when she’s driving.” John’s answer? He went to sleep on my shoulder.
Then there was more muttering, which got louder until finally the other complaining woman yelled, “Shut up!” (From now on, that will be her name.)
The bus driver then comes out of her conversation to say, “Did someone say ‘shut up’ to me? Who is this hostile person?”
Well, you can imagine how the remainder of the ride went.
“I’m not your chauffeur.”
“Yes, you are.”
“I’m an adult. No one tells me to shut up.”
“I just did.”
And so on. It was all very mature, and each participant handled herself with poise and aplomb. Or not. Then the driver got on her phone/radio/whatever and repeatedly called into dispatch to try to get a supervisor to come out and meet her, so that she could throw Shut Up off of the bus.
They finally settled on where the supervisor would meet her, and I got off a stop early so that I could walk the rest of the way. Who needs it? Although of course the result is that I don’t know whether the supervisor actually showed up, or whether Shut Up and her friend Intrusive Shoulder Tapper were removed from the vehicle.
All I know was that this morning’s ride was very polite and quiet. Even when we passed the crime-scene-looking site of a horrible early morning car crash. But I guess that’s to be expected.