Thursday, December 6, 2007

just call me the metro bus driver magnet

I’m not hot by any means. I’m not trying to be negative. I’m just being a realist. People magazine won’t be adding me to their annual list of the 50 most beautiful people any time soon. I suppose I’m rather average looking. Truth be told, I am an average looking girl with fabulous hair and cute shoes.

So, why I keep attracting metro bus drivers is a mystery to me.

A few months ago, I told you about the bus driver who gave me his number and creeped me out. Sure, he was Mr. Flirty and flirted with many female passengers. Why he singled me out to give his number to, I’m not sure. However, he’s now out of the picture ever since I complained to Metro. He’s no longer my regular bus driver on my morning commute.

However, I have a regular bus driver on my evening commute (well, semi-regular considering how late the buses run in the evening). He’s older, definitely old enough to be my father. Normally, I say my usual pleasantries (Good evening, how are you?) when I get on the bus and then I pay and find a seat. This particular bus driver tries to extend the length of the pleasantries despite the line of people behind me who are hoping to get on the bus as well. At first I thought nothing of this. Maybe he welcomed the fact that someone would be courteous and respectful to him. I’ve witnessed my fair share of incidents between bus drivers and angry, nasty riders. I genuinely feel for bus drivers and anyone in a service industry—cab drivers, waiters, etc—for that matter. Having spent many years working in a service industry myself, I know what it’s like to be chewed out by someone for something beyond my control. So, being nice to people in a service industry is, like, my Thing.

I’ve realized that there is a fine line between being nice and flirting and maybe my pleasantries can be interpreted as such. In fact, this realization occurred recently with my evening bus driver. After a month-long hiatus from the gym (it’s the pneumonia’s fault), I’ve returned to my regular work-first-gym-second routine and have begun to see my evening bus driver with regularity again. When I got on the bus after my work out (I don’t shower at the gym, I might get a staph infection or something so picture me in sweats with my hair pulled back in a pony and NO MAKEUP—horrific, I know), Mr. Old Flirty said (after my pleasantries), “Oh wow! You’re back. I’ve missed you. It’s so nice to see you again.” Ummm…I’ve missed you?? Are you serious? My response was a confused-sounding, “Thanks.” I took a seat and pondered his words. Had he said everything else but the “I’ve missed you” line, it would’ve felt nice and normal. However, the missing you line added an enormous amount of creepiness to his words that I certainly could do without.

I’ve run into him a few more times since that incident. But only one other run-in continues to freak me out.

The last time I saw Mr. Old Flirty was a week ago. I had taken another bus to get to that particular stop so I had a bus transfer ticket with me. Normally, I pay with my SmarTrip card, but that day I had used cash because I had a lot of change I wanted to get rid of. I stepped on Mr. Old Flirty's bus and did my usual greeting as I showed him my transfer. Mr. Old Flirty then grabbed my hand, the one that was holding the transfer ticket. It was an incredibly unwelcome gesture. I suppose he wanted to see my transfer ticket a little closely to see if it was still valid (for those of you unfamiliar, they are good for two hours for a free bus transfer). But he could’ve asked me to bring the ticket closer to him instead of touching me. And he certainly hadn’t put any other transferring bus riders under such scrutiny. Regardless, there was no need to touch me. And his hand grab was a few seconds too long.

After I found a seat, I spent the rest of the short ride looking at his rear view mirror out of the corner of my eye. Sure enough, Mr. Old Flirty was watching me. I'm in dirty sweats with no make up! Trust me, there's nothing to look at.

I’ve yet to see Mr. Old Flirty again, but there’s a chance I might tonight. I’m not scared of or intimidated by him. He just really creeps me out. But why does this happen to me? Why do I easily attract bus drivers?

I hate to even suggest this, but maybe I should stop being nice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

stop being nice to the old letch - but dont stop being nice to service being in general. It makes me sick to hear how some people will talk to others just because they can get away with it. ~Erika