Know Your Driver.

001As I was getting off the bus the driver said to me, “See you tomorrow.” And that’s when I realized she was the same driver I’d seen the same day every week. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at the bus driver. When I board I’m only really concerned about getting to a seat before the bus lurches into motion and throws me to the floor. This particular day that was especially true because it looked like someone had dropped a burrito in the middle of the floor and someone else, or maybe the same person, had then stepped on it so there was a big squirt of refried frijoles and red sauce, or maybe blood, smeared along the floor.

Someone had lost their lunch and I’m just glad I mean that literally and not metaphorically. It didn’t smell like anything. It just looked awful.

When the driver said “See you tomorrow” I turned around and recognized her but also realized she’d changed her hair style. That made me feel even guiltier for not at least saying hello when I got on the bus instead of just thinking she was a different driver as I barely looked at her while boarding. I couldn’t tell you her name but I feel like I get to know certain drivers who stick with the route for a while, and who I see on a daily basis. And it always surprises me when they recognize me too. I figure bus drivers must see dozens, maybe even hundreds of different people every day. How could they pick a single guy out of the crowd?

I made a mental note to say something nice about her hair the next day, and I would have too if she hadn’t been wearing a hat. At least I said hello this time.

12 Comments

  1. Gina W.

    Ah, the joys of public transportation. Meaning the squished burrito. The nice bus driver actually does sound like a joy. On a daily basis I hear from my son about how much he hates his bus driver this year and how disgusting the bus is. A few weeks ago he said there had been a half-eaten poptart on the floor of the bus since the beginning of the school year. Hopefully the burrito was gone by the time you rode the bus the next day.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Most bus drivers are nice and the rest are mostly indifferent, which is fine. I’m trying to figure out how a half-eaten poptart stays on the bus floor for that long. When I was in school the drivers would yell at us about how they had to clean the bus, and one driver made a point of letting us know she cleaned it daily. I guess bus driver standards have fallen. On the other hand I knew kids who would have picked that poptart up off the floor and eaten it, so the kids’ standards have gotten higher.

      Reply
  2. Kristine @MumRevised

    Try this one…
    “With that lovely hat on, I could barely even notice you changed your hair.”
    Friends for life, if you want that kind of thing.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I don’t know if I want to be a bus driver’s friend for life because I’ve gotten to know some fairly well and it’s sad when they’re moved off to a new route, but I would like to brighten up a bus driver’s day. I’ll have to remember that one.

      Reply
  3. Shawna

    I think it’s nice you think of her at all, let alone enough to write a blog entry about your encounters. I think more people need to think like you, Waldrop.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s probably better that more people don’t think like me. I have enough competition as it is.

      Reply
  4. educational mentor ship

    It’s the same with the conductors on the train I take. Once you make a connection with them, they always make sure you get your wine first and help you with your luggage. The more we connect with strangers, the better life is!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I understand the connections are even better if you share your wine with them. A friend of mine was traveling through Russia and got delayed at a station. He had a bottle of vodka in his bag and offered to have a few drinks with the guys who worked there.
      He sailed right through. I guess they didn’t pass the word along either or he would have been stopped at every station after that.

      Reply
  5. Ann Koplow

    I’m glad I know you, Chris. See you tomorrow.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m glad I know you too. Since today is the day before Thanksgiving it’s unlikely I’ll see you tomorrow but I hope you have a fun holiday.

      Reply
  6. Sandra

    I think you can forgive yourself for not noticing that you have the same driver on most days and that she changed her hairstyle. A few times in this blog you’ve mentioned that you’re busy with your umbrella and making sure you catch the right bus 🙂 I’m kidding. I’m certain your very aura is one of kindness so of course she’d remember you.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s a really nice thought that I have an aura of kindness so I’m going to stick with that. It must be rough being a bus driver and hopefully my aura brightens their day. And if not well screw them!

      Reply

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