It’s amazing that people forget to be nice.
The train line near my in laws are being serviced so, for the whole of January, Adelaide Metro decided to put on extra free buses. I do love a freebie, and since I don’t know travel time in Adelaide, I have no comparison to how much longer it actually takes. So it doesn’t bother me. I stow my timetable in my bag, hop on the bus and walk to (or from) work, listening to a podcast, Nightwish or singing the dramatic verse of All too well.
This afternoon I got to the bus stop with five minutes to spare. But the bus was late. I shrugged it off and hid under the shadow of the giant flag. I watched as people slowly inched their way to the edge of the road, itching to be the first on board.
The express bus came and it was packed, no one could board. Mine was the bus after so I avoided the crowd, got on, and sat in the geek chair (first row, single seat, under the air con). As the other passengers boarded a handful of people who missed the express bus were on the kerb and they were mad. One asked if another express bus was coming and the driver could only say “it should”. The man sighed and hopped on the bus. A lady asked the same question through gritted teeth and proceeded to have a conversation with the poor driver about the lack of the free express bus (which he had absolutely no control over). Behind her, a man from a different party chimed in and started swearing as he attempted to make a point. Mr. Bus Driver simple said “Hey now, no need for that”.
It didn’t stop him. Another passenger on the bus got up, gave up his timetable to the annoyed swearing man to divert his attention, but with no success. The passenger shook his head and sat down. By now annoyed sweary man was shaking his head, demanding the driver to call his superior. But still he didn’t get on the bus.
The lights turned green and it was time for us to head off. There wasn’t any grumbling on the bus, no other complaints, no sighs of relief. I wondered where the road ragey passenger were. Why weren’t people angry?
Was it because the bus itself was free? Or that we were moving? Or ultimately because there was no need to be. No one was in control of the traffic, the weather or the sweary man who was probably still using up all his energy on being mad.
Mr. Bus Driver took notes, drove off and got on with it. After all, we can’t all have two year old tantrums. We just have to get on with it. And I think it is possible to not forget to be nice. Because if I start looking for blame, I won’t get anywhere or anything but a hot head, a confused brain and a whole lot of wasted time.