In my previous job I lived a grand total of 15 minutes from my office, 10 if I walked really quickly or didn’t mind being a couple of minutes late because I didn’t want a wonky lipstick line. This meant I could get out of bed between 8:15 and 8:27 dependent on how “together” I wanted to look that day. 8:15 meant my brows were perfect and my lipstick was HASHTAG BLOGGERESQUE “on point”, 8:27 meant that I tie my hair up and skip the lipstick in favour of a balm with the intention of a 9:02 trip to the ladies.
It’s been a while since I’ve had to depend on the assistance of the city’s bus services to deliver me from a to b (in my case currently it’s from a to b to c). Since starting at a new job 3 weeks ago I’ve fallen back into the rat race of early mornings (which I’ve embraced surprisingly well) and…. DUN DUN DUN… Public transport.
I wouldn’t say I hate public transport. There’s something rather relaxing about spending an hour plugged into my headphones to check my tweets, respond to emails, listen to music or to sup a pre made brew from a thermal mug flask. Weirdly enough it gives me a bit of “me” time between the scrambling of the dogs in the morning and being at my desk. I get to be anti social for a while, people watch and secretly judge others based on their public transport behaviour to the sound of Spotify. And I don’t think I’m on my own in doing so. Along with public transport comes the public, and whether you’ve worked in a public facing job or you’ve been in the company of several members of the public who you don’t know at the same time then you’ll know that people on a whole can be quite… Annoying. And weird. And displaying of some rather questionable behaviour:
- Don’t sit next to me if there are spare seats. There is always that one person who boards an almost empty train or bus and decides that they want to sit on the seat right next to you. It’s usually a person who smells or who insists on talking to you for the entire journey. They’ll lean into you, try to make conversation, not be swayed by your lack of response or the tinny sound coming from your headphones and what you really want to do is scream WHY?!?!??!! in their detachment anxiety ridden faces and move to a seat where you can breathe your own air without having to watch that your side fat doesn’t invade their half of the seat.
- I don’t know about you but I like to stare off in the distance whilst I’m sat passing the time between my stop. I think about what I’m having for tea, what happened in last weeks American Horror Story, whether I should buy that dress which is identical to the one I already have. The last thing I need whilst my eyes are wandering amongst the the vicinity of the bus is someone’s beady eyes locking onto mine. I’m a strong believer in not making eye contact with people on public transport, mainly because it’s a bit creepy. A man on the underground once made eye contact with me in an empty carriage and he continued to creepily hold my gaze until I realised he was urinating on himself. Lesson learned.
- When you’re running late for something it’s very likely that your half an hour journey which gives you a comfortable 15 minutes to arrive and relax before will take 45 minutes and you’ll arrive just in the nip of time. That’s usually down to the volume of people getting on and off at every single stop. Of course, they can’t help it, they need to get to where they’re going to just like you do. But the stop start, stop start of the bus can be a little bit grinding on your patience when you have 2 minutes left on the clock before you’re officially late.
- I love people watching on the train (until they make eye contact with me, of course). To an extent I love overhearing people’s conversations… When they’re remotely interesting. Sometimes, usually when you forget your headphones, you wind up sitting in earshot of people who have the most mind numbingly dull conversations, can’t construct complete sentences or sound like they’re travelling home from a filming of Jeremy Kyle. There’s always the people who talk overly loud because they think they’re “kewl” and “badass” for airing their dirty laundry in public, when really, no one wants to hear it.
- There’s always that one person who gets on the bus and acts like they’ve just wandered out of a time machine and don’t know what this strange human carrier on wheels is all about. They ask a million questions about the location and direction of the bus, pays in buttons or hover around the driver the entire journey looking perplexed at their surroundings. I spend their boarding time rolling my eyes and checking my watch or wanting to yell “IF YOU DONT KNOW HOW TO WORK A BUS GET A TAXI”.
- How many times have you stood around waiting for a scheduled bus or train which has turned up late resulting in you bring late for that meeting or date or work? Annoying isn’t it. Again, how many of you have waited for a bus that just hasn’t shown? You wait in desperation for it to turn up, checking your watch, calculating how late you might end up being. You wait and you wait and it just doesn’t show. There’s a bus on my route that’s guilty of this to the power of a billion. In fact, there’s a thread on the Internet which bus bashes it for its habit of not showing up or driving past passengers without an ounce of guilt.
What are woes of public transport? Comment below or tweet me @misscharl