"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

HSR drivers

Most mornings, I go tearing out of the house, jogging with dignity to the end of my street, where I turn right towards the bus stop while glancing left to see if the bus is going to pass me on my way to the bus stop. Often, as I then glance right, I see the back end of the bus disappearing around the corner after my bus stop.


And then I either start walking, or wait for the next one, depending on the weather.

Just to be clear, it's not that I've slept in. Oh no. I've been up for hours. Frequently since 5 AM. But I try to pack too much into my mornings, because I know right well how little I accomplish in a rare at-home evening. And so I jog ... and glance ... and sigh.

But this post isn't about me. It's about the drivers of those buses. Are you ready for this?

They. Are. Amazing.

(Cue the outrage and horrific stories of "that time" and "that driver" ... there, are you done? OK. Back to our regular programming.)

As I said - amazing. They see me jogging. If they haven't already pulled away, they wait. They even re-open the door, so that I know they're waiting, so that I slow my pace a little, so that there is less danger (once I board) of me throwing up or wheezing like ... like ... crud, I got nothing. Help me out here. "Wheezing like...."

Once I get on that bus, wheezing or not, most of them ... are you ready for this? ... most of them make full eye contact with me, smile or nod, and either say, "thank you" or "morning". If I'm in a line, and 182 of us are getting on that very same bus ... each of us gets full eye contact, a smile or a nod, and a greeting.

Do the math. Multiply that by the number of bus stops, then by the number of times the route happens throughout the day, then by the number of workdays per year. That's a lot of eye contact, a lot of smiling and nodding, and exponentially more greetings than the person who welcomes you to Walmart.

The other day I had a different driver, who ALSO ... wait for it ... farewell-ed his riders AT EACH STOP as they got off the bus. "Have a nice day!" he called cheerfully toward the back door of the bus each and every time.

I could not do that. It's not that I don't like people. I do. I'm friendly. Ask anyone.

But those drivers? They've hit a different level of friendliness and customer service.

HSR drivers ROCK.

And I just felt it needed to be said.


chRistine said...

That's awesome :) I used buses when I lived in Niagara Falls and those drivers were great, as well. Transit HR departments must be pretty good at hiring the right kind of people.

Mary Graham said...

I have had far more positive experience with bus drivers here, in Vancouver as well as Melbourne then negative ones. The only negative is that they pull away without me & that is because in traffic it is more important that they are safe getting into traffic then stopping for me.

vjc said...

"Wheezing like a leaky bagpipe."

Amazing bus drivers are the salt of the earth. I could like some fabulous ones and love each of them and glad they live in your neighborhood too.