Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Helping an old lady board a bus?

With the federal government shutting down at 2pm today we all knew the metro would be packed; A little after 2 I decided there was no reason for me to stick around and even though I hate being pressed in a packed metro I'd go ahead and give it a shot. I lucked out when I got down to the platform and was able to make my way all the way to the far side and then squeeze through riders to the wide open isles, out of the way for the time being.

Standing in the middle watching people and their reactions you can't help but laugh; we're all in the same boat but people still feel the need to bitch and moan about how horrible it is that they have to squeeze through everyone to get off and on the train. One guy however with a particularly sour look on his face made it his perogative to take up as much space a possible, seated on the closest seat to the doors by spreading his knees out and flipping through the mornings paper (not express sized paper here either) and bumping people around him. That was particularly nice of him.

I decided to hop off at Dupont Circle and ride the 42 up to my place to both get off the sardine can train while I could and limit the amount of walking on ice I'd be doing in my slick bottom dress shoes. I typically get to the top of the escalators just in time to catch the bus and today was pretty much dead on though I had to run to get there. Unfortunately I was not as dead on as I thought as immediately after I crossed in front of the bus to the bus stop the driver took off through the freshly green light in front of him. Darn, I proceeded to wait with an older lady for the next bus to come through.

When the bus finally came around the bend the first thing one of the people standing around said was "Oh shit". I turned and looked and the bus was just about packed completely full. So, what do all the people waiting (who had just gotten there and were standing in front of the old lady and I) do? Rush the door...

When the last person getting off finally squeeze through they start piling on, though the driver is announcing that not everyone will be able to get on. As the older lady (who is about 70 years old) passes in front of me she mutters "this is crazy" and starts walking away from the bus stop. At this point I called out to all the people trying to rush the bus entrance and yell out "Hey folks can we please let this lady on the bus?".

Two people turn around. They look at me, look at her and then turn around and hop on the bus. Wow; just absoultely amazing. I then said something about her being the first person there waiting and the one that most needs the services of the bus and all I got was a shrug from a guy in the back of the mob. It's incredible that on a day like this when common curtousy is probably the most important and helpful thing, people can be that self-centered and oblivious to things that are going on around them.

I checked with the lady to make sure she was going to be ok and other then a little disgust with the situation she said she was going to walk home and that she would be alright. Then I threw my jacket on over my wool sweater to keep me dry and started the long schlep home. I guess there is only so much you can do when people don't care about anyone other then themselves.

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