Thursday, July 31, 2008

HE REMEMBERS ME

I've been doing ten and a half hour days on the 6 line for the last couple weeks. Normally, the 6 is pretty tame. My first trip on Monday, I wasn't so lucky.

These two guys get on with transfers from the light rail station. Both were for Mobility passengers so I asked for ID. The one guy said, "don't you remember me?" I did recognize him not only as a frequent passenger, but from being around back in my wild girl days a couple decades ago. I told him I didn't remember if he had ID. He did. The other guy got mad and said "This is the same bitch that got me before." I told him he'd have to pay the $2 fare, hop off the bus or I could call the transit police. I explained it is a felony and the minimum he'd get would be a $180 fine and possibly a trespass notice. This bans you from any bus, shelter or other transit property for a month. The max penalty is something like 3 years in prison and $5000 fine. (Mental block - it's either that or 5 yrs prison/$3000 fine)

The guy was mad and put his $2 in. He cussed a little as he headed towards the back of the bus to find a seat. The bus was full of yuppies going home from work. It was rush hour. They found a seat across from the back door. I ignored the cussing, figuring they'd tone it down once they were seated. These guys just like to make a grand entrance.

It was relatively quite as I drove along. Then I looked into the mirror and saw the fare cheater drinking a beer! I immediately got on the microphone and said " I know you aren't back there drinking a beer!" He just looked at me. He knew he was busted. I pulled the bus over and said "I'm done. This is your stop. You need to just take your beer and hop out the back door." Surprisingly, they obeyed! They put up a little fuss, but not too much. As the fare cheater was going out the door, he decided to hang half inside the bus and yell "I remember you from a long time ago. You used to smoke crack..." I was shocked and kind of caught off guard. I just said "Whatever, bye bye. You have a great day." Or something to that effect.

I wasn't sure if I wanted my passengers to all know about my past. It was true. A couple decades ago I was a wild girl and I did have a drug problem. Maybe I should have yelled back "Yep, that's me! Now I'm drug free. I own my own home and my own car and I have a great job that I love and it comes with benefits and a retirement plan. And you? You are still a loser drinking a beer in the back of a bus." I had decided to just leave it alone.

I did get about half a dozen people that thanked me for kicking them off. Many say they wished other drivers would do that type of thing more often. I always appreciate when passengers show they appreciate what I do. In fact, I've kicked off others in these last couple weeks for their language and the passengers are very grateful. They've been getting on lately asking if I kicked anyone off today.

It's good to be recognized...sometimes!

12 Comments:

Blogger Quaking Aspen said...

good for you!! :-D

10:27 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Thanks, Aspen...can't say it was an easy thing to do at the time (cold turkey) but it was well worth it! It's great to have a LIFE!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here i thought you were talking about me. :( remembering you. from the bus rodeo lol lol just make sure you let me know the boys come out again. My ? is do you remember me????? no names

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just be careful when confronting people. It's no wonder why other drivers don't want to get involved in throwing people off the bus... never know who's carrying or who might just go off the deep end.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. You're an amazing human being, Jeanne Ree.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Why are so many people anonymous??

I'm not quite sure who the bus roadeo person is. I have a couple ideas, but hard to guess when you requested no names!! Are you either the guy and his wife we sat with at the banquet or the guy with all the drink ideas that held all the purses for our picture taking? (I have a pic of that..it's funny!)

The next comment sounds like it was left by a caring person. Don't worry about me. Like I always say, I don't think God wants me yet!

The next comment...I think my mom left that! It is true though...I AM amazing...most days. Hehehehe

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Brother James said...

Yes, I do have an amazing sister. Hope she can make it see me on the beach in November!

In case you misplaced it, the page is www.thesurfreport.com

Your beach is waiting!!!

1:43 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Hey brutha!!

Glad you could stop by. If the friend I planned to come with can't get time off his job, then I have your other fav'rit sis' looking into her schedule. I LOVE the condo and the waterfront views and all the stuff there is to DO there. Hopefully, I'll be able to make it. I miss my brutha too!

Hope to see U soon!

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 27 years in public transportation there's only one thing better then a story like hers. A pay raise...TO all the drivers & operators in public transportation, never stop defending the rights and safety of your passengers. Keep smiling and take a deep breath before engaging the street eurchins who think they can abuse or harass transit employees anytime / anywhere. WRONG BUSTER!!
Take pride in the service you provide and keep the faith the riding public will respect their driver /operator in time of need...

Mr. C
San Diego, CA.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Mr. C - Thanks for your support! I still say, most of our passengers are good, honest people. They are fun and interesting to chat with. I truly enjoy my job and most of the people that I come into contact with daily. There are those few that challenge you, but they are by no means the majority. I just try to keep it that way by standing up for myself and my passengers when the goofballs try and play their games.
27 years!! You must like your job too!! Congrats...now retire so those low seniority drivers can move up! ;)
Thanks for visiting my site. Hope you continue to enjoy my blogs!

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your generosity, honesty and confidence in doing the right thing is very heartening. You light up the world around you, wherever you can, and it makes my heart sing to read about it.

Also, you have some mad balls to 'fess up to having a wild past and a rewarding present. The future is brighter with people like you.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

arcanica - That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me! Thank you so much!

10:14 PM  

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