Monday, July 31, 2006


There are 3 interesting people I know that can very often be found at the Uptown Transit Station. They are known by a lot of drivers. Some call them stalkers but one of them has given herself a more gentle title..."Bus groupie".

Lady #1 is actually someone I have known ever since I moved to Minneapolis in 1982. She worked at the same office job that I did. It was my first job. Nowadays, she spends her days riding around on the buses with her little dog in it's backpack. (It has like a mesh screen on it so it isn't totally inhumane). She was getting a list of signatures before we went on strike a couple years ago. She wanted the governor to see that he needed to help support transportation and its funding. She got around 12,000 signatures according to her count. In all fairness, when I went to sign the paper I saw it was sign by the "Crips" (a street gang) and there were a few other questionable signatures like Superman and Elmer Fudd.

Lady #1 has been kind of irritating to me lately. She gets on the bus and rides...Usually a round trip. The entire time she is talking about negative things. Lately, it's been how she's been trying to organize her block party for National Night Out and hasn't been getting the help she needs. It gets old REALLY fast listening to someone be so negative constantly. Her other latest issue is some bus driver that has supposedly been pointing her out to gang members (I highly doubt that) and trying to get her in trouble...As she says. I am not sure what she means by that. I know she did mention one of the drivers was trying to get her little dog taken away. I said maybe the driver was just concerned for the dog...Being in that backpack all the time. Of course, THAT couldn't be it...It's always much more of a conspiracy than that.

Hell, the first dog died and then she got this one...A twin of the first one!! I suppose it's not all that bad if the dog gets out and runs and gets to be a puppy sometimes. I let it do just that a couple times on my layover. I felt bad for the little thing. I let it run up and down the aisle of the bus just so it can get out of that backpack.

Another thing that irritates me about lady #1 is her hinting for money or snacks. She said once that the dog needed shots or something and how expensive they are. Then she hinted at how "some drivers" give her donations for the dog. I just told her that is why I don't have a dog...They require a lot of time and money. I would love to have a dog but I am just not home enough. Besides, they can be expensive. Other times, she sits outside the drivers room at Uptown and hints "I wanted a Pepsi, but I don't think I have enough change."

I get so tired of people thinking I'm a walking bank or that I owe them something because I FINALLY got a job that doesn't leave me on my last dime every payday...GRRRR.

On to lady #2. This chick is much more positive. She is always happy and smiling. She gives me puzzles copied out of the newspaper and sometimes even chocolate!! (the only addiction I have left).
She has more bus driver clothes than some actual bus drivers. She even has one of the older style uniform jackets (sometimes called the pizza jacket because it looks like one the Dominos guys used to wear) and the uniform baseball caps. The WORST part is she actually CHOOSES to wear the pinstriped shirt that we are forced to wear as part of our uniform! I can't WAIT to get home and get out of that ugly thing!!

Lady #2 rides the buses around on a daily basis. She knows more of the drivers and more about the bus system than I ever will...Or ever care to. For example, she can look at a bus and tell you which of the 5 twin cities garages it comes from! That's just more than I need to know! She calls the drivers by name, like I know them. There are around 1500 drivers out of the 5 garages. I know a handful out of MY garage and that is about it. However, of the 3 Uptown girls...She is the one that I least hate to see coming onto my bus. She has the most positive attitude.

Lady #3 is much like #2. She rides the buses daily...Usually searching out a specific driver. She knows what driver is doing what work. She has her favorites and ones she will get hit crossing the street to avoid. She walks with a cane and usually carries no less than 2 bags/backpacks/coolers or whatever. She runs errands for the drivers (sometimes being taken advantage of, in my eyes) and brings little gifts like candy and Micky D's double cheeseburgers or cans of pop or whatever else she finds in her bags. She went a little overboard one time and offered one of my coworkers a cell phone!! He is a decent guy (not to mention his wife probably would have kicked his booty!) so he turned it down. I did hear later that someone actually took her up on the offer and ran the bill up like crazy. Not a nice thing to do, but I hope she learned from it. She tends to put people on a pedestal simply because they drive a bus. I have tried to tell her that bus drivers are just people and there are good AND bad people in any group. Hope she's learned.

Seems that these ladies know each other. Lady #3 really doesn't seem to like lady #2. I think she feels like she is competing for the bus drivers attention. Lady #2 seems to get along fine with lady #1. Recently I saw lady #2 watching #1's dog at Uptown while #1 was out doing whatever, probably going to Mickey D's.

There is pretty much a 100% chance that on any given day at least one of these ladies is riding around on the bus. None of them is ever really going anywhere specific...It's just how they chose to spend their days. I know there are drivers that just hate to see them coming...Sometimes I am one of those drivers. I would just ask that they do what I do...Put yourself in their shoes. How would you like for this to be YOUR life? I realize life is what you make it but you still should be a little tolerant of others and the lives they have chosen for themselves.


Anonymous reaper said...

Sorry I been gone from here awhile, you never came back to my blog so I would check yours and see the same post so I figured you were on break or something. I read a lot of your posts so it's kinda hard to comment on them all. So I guess I'll say....




2:51 PM  
Blogger nimbleboy said...

Generally speaking, I enjoy these ladies. You're right, though, #1 gets a bit old and I've never experienced the hinting thing.

#2 has only recently been riding with me. I like her; if I don't talk much, neither does she, which is really nice on those difficult days.

And I actually look forward to talking with #3, now that she doesn't ride all day with any one driver, so I know I'll get a break.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous elianara said...

I bet those ladies can be a handful some days.

3:20 PM  
Blogger nimbleboy said...

Update: #2 slightly diminished in my view, as she rode with me all the way to a terminal (6K), but wasn't getting out there. It was OK- I just had to walk further than the side of the bus to take care of necessary business, but still...

9:50 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

To be honest, I think all 3 are "slightly diminished". Why else would you chose to make a life hanging out on the bus? I guess it's better than sitting around at home rotting away.

If I had to pick one, I guess I'd chose to have #2 ride. If you don't talk to her, she sits and reads a book sometimes. Very rarely is she insistent on #3. And #1 is so darn negative...I just don't care to focus on negative stuff all the time.

Thanks for all your comments!

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Franiel said...

Jeanne ree...I believe someone just called you 'Intersting', 'Brilliant' and 'Amazing'. Wow, he nailed it!! But I would have to add 'Awesome', 'Beatufiul' and 'Intelligent'.

9:21 PM  

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