You are waiting for your morning bus with about 15 other people. Your bus stop plays host to multiple routes, so with each approaching bus, you squint at the glowing number emblazoned on its front (or taped to the windshield by the driver) to see if your chariot has come to whisk you away.
You note that the latest arrival is not said chariot so you return to your Metro or to gazing at nothing. A motion to your left catches your eye. With muscles still drunk from sleep, you turn your head and aim your heavy-lidded eyes down the sidewalk.
You see a man. You see a man running. You see a man running with, perhaps, a slightly panicked look in his eyes. These eyes are starting pointedly at the conveyance that still sits idly in front of you as the last interested parties climb aboard.
You twist your head again and take in the bus, the driver waving the last passenger on without showing their monthly commuter pass. Back to the man running. Back to the bus.
Decision time. Do you:
A. Motion to the driver, notifying them they have a latecomer rushing at best speed to the bus, appealing to his better nature to hold up for five more seconds.
B. Continue to gaze dumbly at the on-charging commuter, remaining motionless but for the infrequent blink, little evidence of higher brain function.
I, myself, typically choose A. Admittedly, studies have shown that my enthusiasm for flagging down bus drivers for other riders is directly proportional to the “female” and “cute” levels of the tardy rider. However, I maintain that, if I see a running rider (RR) and I’m in a position to, I will move to flag the driver.
Evidently, the 15 people at the bus stop this morning, five or six of whom I specifically saw watching me sprint towards them, do not share my principles in this matter.
As I ran, I watched the people at the bus stop look at me, look at the bus and then turn back to me. I could almost hear them thinking, “He’s not gonna make it. Dumb bastard.” Knowing that they weren’t going to help me and suspecting I wasn’t going to make it in time, I briefly considered lowering my shoulders and just driving through the pile of people. It was cold and icy, so they were all huddled together. I’m sure I would’ve done some damage.
I was in line with the back of the bus when the doors closed and the driver hit the gas. I ran past the bus stop, not to catch the bus, but because I knew if I stopped amidst the inconsiderate sons of bitches at the bus stop, I would’ve made a scene that would achieve nothing more than to make me look like more of an asshole than I already did.
Luckily(?), all but two of those riders got on the next bus. It was a route that I’ve taken in the past which goes farther than my office and I end up walking back through Chinatown, so I debated shouldering my way to the front in righteous indignation. But by then I’d taken a few deep breaths and reason prevailed.
I like my commute to work. On good days, I can get to work in less than 15 minutes and the express bus is nowhere near as exciting as the T. But it’s not without it’s own flavor of inconsiderate mcdouche that causes me to grind my teeth down to the nerve endings.