As the days get longer and the temp rises outside, supervisors seem to start giving you the side-eye in anticipation of you submitting leave request forms! Because we are now officially in the what? … “season o’ vacays.” Here is your opportunity to take some legitimate time to yourself and not have to come up with some ‘randomly strategic’ bout with illness to tap into that ‘sick leave’ … but I digress! You may be wondering, “How can I take a vacay or a stay-cay that is reasonably cost-effective?” Well when I asked myself that question last summer, my answer came in the form of a convenient bus service known for cheap ticket prices, air conditioning, and free wi-fi! Sign me up!
Now for those of you who are from the Northeast, you may be familiar with a number of bus services that ‘shuttle’ folks to popular destination sites at almost unbelievably low prices. Well as a Southern gal, this concept was fairly new to me yet gave me new optimism to plan various summer get aways! I’ve taken about 3 successful bus trips with this service thus far and may plan more for this summer. As a result of my trips, I wanted to weigh-in on a few bus etiquette ‘faux pas’ that I have witnessed and experienced as a passenger. It’s amazing what one is exposed to just as a result of taking any form of public transportation. I’m typically not a fan of public transportation, but with the price of gas continuing to make my left eye well up with each fill up, I decided that something had to give if I still wanted spending change on my trips!
BUS TRIP ETIQUETTE FAUX PAS
1. Bus Attendants: Your job is to tend to the passengers. This particular bus service always provided two drivers for each trip to help combat against extreme levels of fatigue for one person. AWESOME! Soon this particular trip, and as passengers began to board the bus, one driver should’ve been checking tickets while the other assisting passengers with placing their bags under the bus. Sir, I understand that you just had to get a few more puffs off of that Newport before starting this bus trip, however, I think I just ruptured, sprained, and dislocated my 56th & 57th vertebrae trying to simultaneously bend, lift, and move this piece of luggage onto the bottom of this bus. Please & Thank you in advance. Sidenote: It also pisses me off that you watch me struggle & still don’t feel moved to help. *Cue Miss Celie’s twofingered point,”eeerythang you dun done to me … I already dun done to you.”
2. Bus snacks should be just that … SNACKS! Anything that requires a utensil to consume, anything that is so fragrant it would ‘light up’ the entire bus as soon as you open the container, anything that you wouldn’t want to eat in the car while driving is not an appropriate bus snack. Examples include, but are not limited to: brunswick stew, beef stroganoff, spaghetti, boiled eggs, boiled onions w/ garlic on the side … you get my drift!
3. Only cuddle and/or lay on the shoulder of those you know. There is nothing worse than waking up with a stranger ever so gently breathing on your neck and clutching your arm as if you are a TeddyRuxpin bear. No MF ma’am or sir!
4. Talking on cell phones should be kept to a minimum. The whole bus does not care to know your own personal thoughts about the ‘riding on the bus’ experience. Please wait until Gwen & Erma pick you up to let them know how pleased you are with the trip and more importantly the price of the tix.
5. Bring a jacket/blanket/something to wear because the bus may get chilly. Part of the reason bus drivers keep the air pumping is so that they will stay awake, and you will then ‘arrive alive.’ It’s just like the movie theatre; it should be understood that you may need a wrap to maintain a decent body temp; otherwise, prepare for your nipples to be as hard as AP Math in China under that lone tank top!
6. If you are sitting in a seat with a stranger and a seat opens up-MOVE! Unless we are traveling together, there’s no loyalty with regard to seat occupancy. I can’t feel either of my baby toes because I’m trying to maintain a respectable stature in my seat beside you … and you ain’t tryin’ to move! No MF ma’am or sir!
7. Once we stop after an extended driving time & you have been to sleep … your breath now stinks! Just because you are not sleep in your bed at the house does not mean that your mouth will not smell bad after dozing off for an hour or so on a bus. Unless ‘mesquite open ass’ is the flavor on your box of Tic Tacs, with that smell being the goal once consumed, point your eyes at me to let me know you’re talking to me, but cover your mouth to acknowledge the ‘situation’ at hand.
Be safe out there and remember: bus trips vs. road trips or plane rides will only remain a viable alternative if everyone respects the situation. Otherwise, you’ll opt to spend more money … not on the vacay itself, but on your piece of mind while traveling there!