10 June 2009

get off the bus!!!


Ever since I started regularly taking the 8:30am 66N, the driver has waged a war against loud mp3 players. In this iPod world, many riders get on the bus, player in hand and earbuds/phones/plugs planted in their ears. Occasionally, the ear appliance doesn't effectively block the sound and others can hear a little (or not so little in some cases) bit of music emanating from the device. Signs on the buses and light rail indicate Valley Metro's policy does not permit leakage loud enough to disturb others - fair enough, as long as we can agree about what level equals "disturb".

With a very few exceptions, I never hear the players about which the driver complains. Sitting in back, perhaps the usual bus noises override the leaking music. However, the driver seems to have the aural capacity of Superwoman - she hears everything - and today the **** hit the fan. A young woman and young man boarded at Southern, both with headphones in situ, players in hand. Once seated, the driver turned around and said she didn't know which, but one of their players was too loud and to turn it down. She drove on and around Alameda, once again told them to lower the volume. The girl said she didn't think it was her player, but she would turn it down some more. The young man never acknowledged the driver (maybe he couldn't hear her???). I never heard anything coming from either one, but, whatever.

At Broadway, the driver again turned and told them she could hear the music and to turn it down. At this point the girl removed the earphones and put the player away. Again, the young man didn't acknowledge the driver in any way. The bus moved on and stopped at the light at Mill and Apache - 60 yards from the next stop (mine!). The driver turned around and yelled at the young man to turn down the music, she could still hear it. He leaned forward and told her he didn't have to do anything, he had headphones on and wasn't bothering anyone. He proceeded to tell the driver that she had no right to speak to him or anyone that way, she was a public servant, paid to just drive the bus and he could do anything he wanted. While offering his comments, the light changed and she drove to the stop. She yelled at the young man to get off the bus and he said he would, it was his stop, and he was going to call and report her. She just kept yelling (more like screaming) for him to get off the bus. A girl in front got off, but the young man blocked my exit. He lunged forward as he yelled at the driver and I finally timed it to catch him mid-lunge, jump past him and out the open door. As I walked down the sidewalk I could still hear them screaming at each other.

The driver's campaign against loud music continually mystifies me, especially since I rarely hear the offending music. Her behavior about it almost always borders on the unnecessarily unpleasant and rude. The young man showed the narcissism of his generation - I appreciate he didn't like the driver's approach, but his arrogance in assuming a right to do anything he wants -- sounds like his future plans could include a job on Wall Street.

A very unpleasant start to the day for both of them.

4 comments:

Busboy said...

Nice story.

cogidubnus said...

She may feel that (on consecutive journeys) she's going to be exposed to it all day unless she makes a stand, and is, therefore, over-reacting....

Alternatively, I know, from sitting behind people with earphones, that sometimes a lot of sound leaks out and the incessant beat can be quite irritating...
perhaps the offenders were nearer the driver than they were to you?

Either way, don't let it spoil the ride...by the by, from the top deck of a double decker the south of England is really beautiful at this time of year!

MFebber said...

The top of a double decker sounds delightful. I'll be in the Cumbria area for a conference the end of July - wonder if they have double deckers up there?

cogidubnus said...

As a starting point you could try http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/roads-transport/public-transport-road-safety/transport/publictransport/busserv/timetables/default.asp

Some of them are bound to be double decked...

I know there are a number of bus operators in Cumbria with preserved (old) double deckers especially around Grasmere.

Anyway, hope you enjoy your visit to these isles...good luck!