Sunday, February 28, 2010

I HATE LAKE STREET - PART 1

I hate Lake Street. Though most of the people are fun, nice and interesting people just trying to get from point A to point B, it has more people with issues than most other routes I do. I drove Lake street four days last week and two days out of those four I had to write up incident reports. Here's the first story...

I was having a pretty good day, as Lake street goes. Greeting everyone, thanking them as they left. Just a normal day. I had one of the bus groupies sitting in the peanut seat. Hadn't seen her in quite a while so when she saw me she decided to ride my bus and chat for a while. I pulled up to 21st avenue, heading toward uptown. An older man gets on and puts his monthly pass in the farebox and it reads "expired" and pops out. I looked at it and informed him the pass expired on February 11Th and it was now February 23rd. He said that that was the pass he'd been using. I thought maybe he had a new pass that he was using and just forgot to throw out the old one, so I suggested he check his pockets for another pass. He got mad and insisted that that pass was what he had been using. I informed him that it had been expired nearly two weeks and was no good. If he had no other pass, he'd have to pay a fare. His voice got course and angry and he yelled "Fuck you, bitch!" and went and sat down!

I was shocked. I couldn't believe this old man just cussed me out and then had the nerve to sit down on the bus, like I would just blow it off and drive on like nothing happened. I said "You aren't going to talk to me like that and ride on this bus. Have you lost your mind?" I told him he needed to get off the bus as I called for the police. He came up by the farebox and continued to yell at me while I was on the phone with the Control Center. I kept the mic keyed so they could hear what was going on.

Apparently, the old guy realized I wasn't moving and the cops were coming so he got off the bus. Just before I was able to close the doors, he looked at me. His eyes were burning with hatred and he said "I'll knock your fuckin' head off!" I was able to close the doors so I did. I had secretly taken my pepper spray out and had it shaken up and was holding it kind of between my knees. I put that away, too. I called the Control Center back to let them know he was off the bus. They asked me for a description and which way he was going. I sat there and gave them a description as I watched the guy walking away. He was looking back at me, still spewing hatred. I like to give a description as I am looking at the person. It is much more accurate than using just memory. I gave them a great description...right down to his slight limp!

The Control Center asked me if I was alright and if I needed Peer Support. I was a little surprised. I told them I was fine. The confrontation was all verbal. He didn't swing on me or anything. I didn't need Peer Support. I kind of laughed to myself. Did they really think a verbal situation would cause me to be so traumatized that I'd need to be taken off my work to sit and chat with a coworker to get it off my chest? I thought maybe the fact that I held the mic open and they heard it. It sounded worse than it was. True, there were a couple seconds there that I thought he might hit me. That's why I had the pepper spray ready, but not where he could see it and take it as a threat. It all worked out. He was off the bus and I continued on my route.

As I approached 3rd avenue, the phone rang. I pulled over and answered it. It was the Control Center saying they were doing a little follow up and again asked if I was okay and if I felt I needed Peer Support. Again, I told them I was fine. They said that was great and for me not to forget to fill out the paperwork when I got back to the garage. My heart sank. I had a million things to do after work and didn't have time to do a half an hour of paperwork. I told them "okay" and signed off.

I turned to the bus groupie girl in the peanut seat. She always likes to know what's going on. I told her they were checking to make sure I was alright and asked me...again...if I needed Peer Support. I told her I was doing fine until that call came. They told me I had to fill out an incident report. Now I WAS traumatized! Just the thought of having to do the paperwork messed me up!

That gave us both a much needed laugh.

3 Comments:

Anonymous annami said...

Good for you, that you dont bring your work with you back home. What an ugly old man.

5:39 PM  
Blogger TheTransitCamera said...

A 1/2 hour for an incident report!!?? How many questions do they have on one? Glad you are alright and he didn't hurt you.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

ann - it takes all kinds! I prefer not to bring "all kinds" home with me...leave work at work!

Tran - Yep - it's actually the same form as an accident report. Of course, not all questions apply. It's 2 extra long pages with extra for description/detail. There are also the envelopes with cards if passengers will fill them out and a form for getting paid for filling out report. Also, a form to show damages on bus if necessary. What fun!

5:39 PM  

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