There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why grumpy guys finish last

When my mother's health started to decline she spent a lot of time in hospital emergency rooms. As her decline continued she became unable to understand what she was being told about her condition. I needed to talk to the doctors.

"Sorry, I can't give you that information," I remember the nurse telling me over the phone one day.

It didn't matter that I was the patient's son. The nurse just wasn't going to talk to me. Goodbye.

A short while later my wife called the hospital, and explained that she was the daughter in law of the patient. She then had a lengthy discussion not only with the nurse, but with the examining physician, including a detailed explanation of the planned course of treatment.

I am reminded of this power of my wife's by the "anonymous" comment left on yesterday's post:

"I laughed until I cried when she described as her "biggest" complaint: No benches at the White Rock and Prospect Park bus stops."

Benches have been requested.
Talk about beginner's luck!

The wife's second day riding Sacramento Regional Transit produced her first assessment of her drivers:
Driver recognition -- appreciating the subtle

The No. 74 driver (bus 9372) was very friendly, cheerful, helpful -- a real "good humor man." He made a new rider feel at ease and less anxious. And (emphasis added here) he stopped in front of me. (Recall the 20-foot forced march yesterday.)

In contrast, the No. 80 driver (who will remain anonymous) was a little edgy, producing a sense of bearing down on cars, invisibly pushing them out of the way. But he was helpful to passsengers.

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