Warning: This post contains strong language which may be offensive to some readers.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t own a car, meaning I take the bus when I go places outside of walking distance. I purchase a monthly pass for myself; for my son, I take advantage of the outstanding student discount available, and purchase the semester pass for him. Because the semester pass only has to be renewed twice a year, it’s easy to forget about until we try to board with an expired pass.
We were standing at the bus stop yesterday when I got out my son’s pass, and it occurred to me that it had probably expired. There is no expiration date on the semester passes; not even a month. They do have a colored sticker which changes each time they’re renewed, but there’s no real way to know if it’s expired until a driver tells you. Since this was his first trip since the start of the month, I wasn’t sure.
I told my son to go ahead and show his pass in case it was still good; I figured the driver would let us know if it had expired. I also had his fifty cent fare in my hand, in case it was. The bus pulled up, my son showed his pass as he boarded, and that’s where it all hit the fan.
The driver became irate. He shouted at my son, “This is expired!” I told him that I thought it might be, but just wanted to make sure. I then dropped my coins in the slot.
My son had already taken his seat when the bus driver demanded that I bring him the card; he wanted to remove the sticker because it was apparently the property of the bus company. I thought it was a bit petty, but told my son to give him the card.
While my son stood waiting, the driver furiously scratched and scraped at the button-sized sticker until it was coming off in tiny pieces, which he then threw away. While this was going on, my son turned and looked at me, questioningly. I shrugged and slightly rolled my eyes (the driver couldn’t see me) and told my son, in a matter of fact tone, that the sticker had to be removed because it was expired. The driver shouted at us again, and in a very angry and accusatory tone, said, “That’s right it is [company] property! And if you don’t remove it when you’re supposed to, we have the right to take it!”
I was slightly taken aback by his outburst, and said, “O. K. I’m not arguing the point, I was just explaining to my son.” The driver did not respond to this.
By the time we reached our destination, I was still really annoyed by the way he had treated us. Before leaving the bus, I said, “You know, your attitude toward us was completely uncalled for.”
He growled back at me, “This is the way I talk! If you don’t like it, report me!”
“You are very rude, and I intend to,” I said.
And then he came completely unglued! His face tightened up as if it might explode. His eyes became bright red, and bulged as if they might pop out of their sockets. He shouted at me through clenched teeth, chest heaving, “You’re a fucking bitch! And you need to take care of your responsibilities instead of trying to cheat the company!”
I could scarcely believe what I was seeing or hearing, and only replied, “What?!”
He repeated himself, louder and even angrier, if that were possible, “You’re a fucking bitch and you’re trying to cheat the company!
I said, “Cheat the company? I paid the fare.”
He said, “Yeah, after I told you!”
I told him that we hadn’t known for sure if the pass was expired, but were confident that he would, and reminded him that I already had the money in my hand when I boarded. I then said, “So don’t you dare accuse me of stealing or even trying to.”
He then said, “Fuck you bitch! Get the fuck off my bus!”
I’m not proud of what I did next, but mostly because my son witnessed it. As I exited the bus, I called him a jackass. Right before he took off, I turned around and shot him the finger. He opened the door again and shouted at me, “Stick that up your ass bitch, ’cause that’s what you need!”
I shot the finger again. He drove away, kicking up gravel from beneath his tires.
After calling the main office and reporting the incident, I had a talk with my son and explained that I wasn’t proud of how I had behaved, and that even though I was provoked, my reaction was inappropriate. I still feel embarrassed about it. To be honest, I hate even posting it here, but if I’m going to give a true account of what happened, I have to include it.
This driver is a loose cannon. He is out of control and dangerous. The rage in his face told me that if there hadn’t been other people on that bus, he would have physically assaulted me.
This psycho should be severely reprimanded and relieved of his position as a driver, if not fired. And I intend to do everything within my power to see that it happens. If he thinks the complaint I filed is the last he’ll hear from me, he’s got another think coming. The next thing I intend to do is send a certified letter, reporting every detail of what happened.
If the company does not not take action, and continues allowing this madman on the streets, something bad is going to happen. He will eventually crash the bus, cause someone else to have an accident, or physically assault someone. And the day I hear about it in the news, I will contact whoever is reporting it and say that the company had been warned about him. There will be no way for the bus company to deny liability.