The Passengers’ Passive Aggressive Response

Yes, I ride the Harlem Line. What I don’t mention as frequently is that I also ride an employee shuttle for folks that work in our building and surrounding buildings. The shuttle is always interesting… and there always seems to be some sort of drama. When I first started riding, the driver was a man named Evans Dempster. He was a very nice man, my first day on the job I was very confused about how to get from the train station to work. And then at work, all the buildings looked the same. Evans was kind and helpful when I needed the help… I was nervous as hell that day, and I owe him my thanks. Unfortunately a minority of passengers that ride the shuttle are extremely vocal and must enjoy complaining. They said he drove too fast, they said he drove too slow… eventually Evans got fed up enough with these idiots that he left and never returned. Which was rather unfortunate… Evans, if you ever happen to see this, thanks!

Sometimes the complaints were about other things than the driving. Our shuttle only seats twenty-five passengers, but many days we have more than that. People have to stand. A month or two ago a person called and complained about having people standing in the aisles. They didn’t like it. In response, the shuttle introduced a new rule… twenty-five only. If you didn’t have a seat you were kicked off. This pissed people off. This pissed me off. I regularly arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the shuttle arrives, and I always get a seat. But the kicking people off bit didn’t seem very fair. Where men once stood aside to allow ladies to go first, mutual respect went out the window. I had been predicting a fight to break out by the end of the week… but it didn’t happen. The “rule” was revoked after two days… but much speculation went on as to who exactly was the complainer. We’re pretty sure we figured it out…

Fast forward to last week… the bus was following a car that stopped short to turn, and they hadn’t used their turn signal. The bus driver braked, people got a little jostled. It was certainly not the driver’s fault in that incident… but the aforementioned complainer figured it was right about time to call up the shuttle company and complain yet again. This sort of made everyone else that rides the shuttle annoyed. We *like* the shuttle driver. He does a good job. Enough complaints could put his job in jeopardy… and that is wrong. So what can we do in a situation like this?

Sure we can say that the driver does a good job… but that lady that complains will always be around, and will always be vocal about it. So us riders decided to be a little passive aggressive towards this woman. She always is a tad pushy so she can be the first onto the shuttle, and selects the seat closest to the front so she can be the first person off the shuttle. Not being able to sit in the first row of seats really bugs her. Collectively a bunch of us riders decided that we would all sit in the front of the shuttle in order to push this lady to the back. It seems like a little thing to do, but it pisses her off, and we find it absolutely hilarious to see her get all huffy and annoyed.

Yesterday we pushed her back to the third row, but that was not good enough. Today we got the cooperation of twelve total riders in order to fill the first three rows of seats, pushing her back to the fourth row. In the time it took for everyone in the first three rows to leave the shuttle, this woman almost missed her train. Almost. Just enough to piss her off, to make her squirm. We had a good laugh about it, as she stared at us in anger.

Next time don’t be an asshole. And say thank you to your shuttle driver. Because if you have a problem with the shuttle, get your ass over to the Bee Line buses and take the fucking six.

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