Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hey MBTA Badge Number 69999!

Correction - Today, November 8th, the MBTA called to say Operator #69999 was scheduled to drive this bus, but someone else substituted at last minute. So Operator #69999 was not the person who was rude and uncaring in this incident.
I apologize.
That's right jackass, I got the number despite the fact that when asked, you gave a different four digit number. You ticked me off enough that I took the bus back to Sullivan Square and asked the starter. I also called in to the T and filed phone complaint with Carlos.

And now, it's time for your lesson in Social Media 101: "You never know who is sitting on your bus."

A late start on errands today - is anyone surprised? I left the house around 4:30 pm. When I got to the Route 93 bus stop aka "The Bunka Bus", I checked the schedule. A bus had left Sullivan Square at 4:30pm and would be cresting the top of Bunker Hill in a moment. Lucky for me.

I got on and sat in the first forward facing seat on the door side. There was a woman in the middle of the side facing seats in front of me. She was two seats from the door. She had a cane. I didn't notice anything past the that. I sent my Frankie a text message at 4:37 pm and then just gazed out the window.

Someone rang the buzzer for the next stop. The bus stopped at Medford Street and North Washington, the first stop after the North Washington Street Bridge. the woman in front of me slid forward in her seat like she was going to get up but she didn't. She was facing the driver and she was getting agitated. A different woman walked up the aisle, got off the bus and the doors closed.

As the driver pulled away from the curb, the woman with the cane asked "Was that Medford? Where is Medford?" The driver replied "I told you before I didn't know where Medford was"

I was just listening because I was confused, there is a Medford Street in Charlestown, but the 93 bus doesn't connect with that at all. Besides, now we were in the North End.

The woman with the cane, who I would come to find out was named Andrea, said "I told you it was the first stop after the bridge."

Operator who was substituting for #69999 replied "Well I stopped and you didn't get off."

Andrea "You didn't tell me"

Operator who was substituting for #69999 "Was I supposed to pick you up and carry you off?"

Now let's pause for a moment - I am know for hyperbole, exaggeration, etc. But I promise you, the above is a direct quote.

Another woman began speaking to the driver as well, telling him he shouldn't be talking to her that way. Andrea meanwhile is getting very agitated because it turns out she has two canes and one is WHITE. I, with my lack of situational awareness, just then realize, Andrea has one cane because of physical disabilities and a white one because she has a 90% vision loss.

I told the driver "You might not have known where Medford St was, but you certainly knew which was the first stop after the bridge."

The bus driver replied with some nonsense about how he had to pay attention to driving the bus.

An important note here - at no time was the bus driver upset, remorseful or angry. He was dismissive. He smirked the entire time.

I hit the button for the next stop which would leave us off in front of City Hall. I leaned forward and put my hand on Andrea's arm and told her "Don't worry, we will get off at the next stop and I will take you back."

The other woman said she was going to call and complain, I said I was too but I was waiting for his number to scroll by on the bus marquee. The driver called out a number over his shoulder - and it wasn't "69999". So on top of everything else.....he lied. This paragraph is wrong, on November 8th, the MBTA called and said it was not Operator #69999, but a last minute substitute.


After we got off the bus, Andrea and I crossed Congress Street to the Haymarket T Station and got on the 93 heading back toward the bridge. I asked her where on Medford Street she was going and she replied that she was headed to Endicott Street, Medford Street was just the closest T stop. So I took her down Thatcher to Endicott and escorted her right to her front door.

After I ran my errands, I was back on the 93 to go home. Different driver. But I was kicking myself that I couldn't remember the other driver's number. I was so peeved, it just slipped my mind. After all, the important part was getting this woman where she needed to go, not getting out paper and pencil to take notes.

But, it was a warm night and it wasn't late, the buses were still running fairly I stayed on the bus all the way to Sullivan Square and spoke to the starter.

I told him that I had been on the 4:30 pm Route 93 bus and I wanted the driver's number. He joked "Operator number, right?" I smiled and said yes. I told him I needed to be sure it was the right guy. I said he was Caucasian, young, good looking, facial hair and wearing a knit cap. The Starter said "So in other words, he looked like me?" We laughed and I said "Yes, except for the knit cap, he was good looking, just like you."

So that's how I know who you are T bus operator #69999. correction - it wasn't #69999, but a substitute driver.

I told the starter my story.

I called into the T's main line and told Carlos my story.

I really hope some of my fellow passengers call in. I think that woman who said she was going to cal will follow through, she was really steamed.

But for now Operator #69999 welcome to Blogger..........and Facebook..........and Twitter.


Anonymous said...

There are some jerks driving the 93. I wonder if this jerk is the same as my 93 nemesis?

Anonymous said...

I guess 69999 didn't get the MBTA's memo about the new courtesy campaign.

Good for you for doing the right thing by Andrea.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing such a wonderful thing on this woman's behalf. #69999 was a jerk, but your kindness went above and beyond.