The Wheels on The Bus Go . . . Very Quietly

Friday, May 29, 2009 | | |

Driving to work isn’t so terrible.  I surely don’t have a nasty commute like some folks.  I knew a guy in DC once who drove 2.5 hours – ONE WAY to get to work.  Absolutely nutz.  I’m fairly certain he spent more time listening to talk radio and bad pop songs than he did actually working every day.  My little jaunt to the office is only about 35 minutes.  But last week I decided to try out our company-provided bus system.  I’m totally sold and I’ve done it pretty much every day since.  In fact as I write this I’m semi-happily seated on the morning bus listening to all the people around me saying . . .

absolutely nothing.

See, in spite of putting a bunch of people in an enclosed space there’s like zero social interaction here.  The closest thing to a conversation I’ve observed was this:

Guy 1:  “Achooo”

Guy 2:  “Bless you.”

Guy 1:  “Thanks.”

And that’s about it.  (mind you there was zero eye-contact in that “conversation”)  Different than a plane, I guess because the ride is shorter or maybe there’s the possibility that you’ll see that person next to you again on the bus some day… not sure.  Also void of actual words is the strange line that we form to get on the bus.  As you walk to the line you’re greeted with blank stares, perhaps a raise of the eyebrow, and in rare occasions there’s a difficult-for-the-human-eye-to-detect head-nod.  These non-verbal cues just scream out: “Welcome to the area . . . I’m good with you as long as you don’t stand in front of me or too near me.”

So my wife asks sarcastically if I made any new friends on the bus each day.  A question always good for a chuckle.  Well, these may not be total social butterflies, but I did get TWO head nods this morning, so I’d say I have some commuter-friends-for-life!

6 comments:

  1. Traci says:

    I'd like to see their reaction if you brought one of our kids on with you. That would liven things up!

  2. CM says:

    Hey - just cuz people don't TALK in the morning doesn't mean there's somethin WRONG with 'em! Maybe they are just not MORNING PEOPLE? I have heard that there are people like that out there - I'm sure they're friendly as all get-out say - around 10:00 or so....

  3. JJ says:

    Wow! I like your bus better. Early in my marriage we had "car issues" and I found myself taking public transportation every day to work (45 minute one-way commute - on a good day). Let's just say that I'd be okay with limited communication. But, then again, I think the clientele was a bit more varied as well.

  4. rlsecor says:

    This and the previous post have left me feeling a little more appreciative of my own career path

    - because when all the Flo's in my own life bust in late to our planning meeting with their "I am a very important princess and I am needed in many kingdoms today" attitudes -

    I get to say
    "I am the mom and I said so!"

    Although an occasional ride on the quiet bus - where sound could actually be detected were an I-POD to be out into use - would be delightful.

    I have to say that I am one of those delightful folks CM mentioned. My cogs don't really start to turn much before 10 or 11am - mostly all you get is grunts and moans.

    Imagine if I tried responding to this post at say 7am. You might only get 1 sentence! Go figure!

    I like Traci's idea - taking one of the kids would definately throw a curve into the whole shebang - although it might really freak some of them out - panic attacks and such. Hmmmm.....

  5. agm says:

    You just reminded me of something. I'm totally guilty of being one of those people who tries to avoid all eye contact and conversation on public transportation, etc. So it cracked me up because we had a new employee start the other day, & she said to me, "Oh, I was so worried that everyone who works here is an introvert- I'm so glad to see another bubbly people person here like me!!" And I said something to her like, "Yeah, I'm bubbly, but I'm really not a people person; I just hide it well." hahhahah Meanwhile, she looked at me like I was completely insane. Rightly so. hhahh

    I have since decided that I am a Bubbly Introvert. I'm starting a petition to add it to the Myers Briggs Personality Types. If that doesn't work out, it totally is a GNFARB! hahahhah

    By the way, a company provided bus system AND free soda?! That is the land of dreams, I tell you!

  6. patty says:

    Haha....I'm actually reading your blog on the same "company-paid for" bus to Issaquah, and your post really "hit the nail on the head" and made me laugh outloud. I'm just so thankful that I can browse the internet and not have to drive. Funny....we're stuck in traffic today because there was a deer hit in on I-90. Who says we're in the big city?

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