Oct 3, 2013

The Bus Stop



We are not a family accustomed to mass transit.  We don't mind it.  Actually, we find it rather adventurous and fun.  But it is not a part of our daily routine.  Unless you count the boys taking the bus to school everyday.  I'm thinking more like city buses.

The reason this has become a new area of concern for us is because Chuck now takes the bus to work. His work gives him a huge discount card to take the bus.  Economically, it is so much smarter than paying for parking in the city month after month.  Plus, this option cuts down on our gas consumption and allows Chuck time to read on his way to and from work - bonus.

Unfortunately, we have discovered that reading the bus schedule is not one of Chuck's strong points. The very first day of him taking the bus he calls me around 5pm and says, "Can you come get me?"  I totally thought he was joking since he said it as a perfect Brian Regan impersonation.  And then he was like, "Um, no, I'm serious.  I got off at the wrong stop apparently."  Well, isn't this convenient.  Good thing I hadn't started dinner yet.

As I'm driving him to his original bus stop where he parked his car he gives me 'the story'.  It started back in downtown Minneapolis.  He was trying to take an earlier bus home.  He walked back to the stop where he got off that morning and stood there waiting for the certain time he presumed the bus should arrive.  The time came and went.  He decided to call the 'help' number on the bottom of the bus schedule.  The 'helper' tells him he's at the wrong stop and directs him to where he should be.  He runs there barely making it on to the bus.  Standing room only. He gets to stand the entire 45 minute drive home in rush hour.  How relaxing.   This is an express bus.  So after it leaves the city it doesn't stop again until it reaches it's final destination.  All 100 or so people exit the bus, including Chuck even though this is not where he wanted to exit.  He felt he had no choice but to exit since he was standing and the flow of people was pushing him out of the bus.  However, like the courteous public citizen that he is, he exits the bus and moves off to the side just next to the bus doors.  He's waiting for the crowd to clear so he can re-enter the bus.

He climbs back up and goes to sit down again.  The bus driver sizes him up.  He knows all too well what he's dealing with.  He tells Chuck, "This is the end of the line Buddy." Chuck stares blankly at him.  After looking around he realizes that the entire bus is empty.  He thought he could just take this bus to the stop where his car was.  Not going to happen.  That's when I get the call.

Later that night he has a heart to heart chat on the phone with the 'bus helpers'.  In humility he explains to them his ineptitude at reading the bus schedule and begs for her to just tell him what stop to get on and off in the city.  Apparently, you do not get back on the bus to go home at the same stop you were dropped off at.  This has helped Chuck tremendously to know this key piece of information.  And now, thanks to the bus helper lady, he also knows which bus goes all the way to his station and thus to his car, making the whole experience convenient, easy and practical once again.

Life is nothing if not an adventure around here - even at the bus stop.


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