Lady Faire


Yet Another Rant

Here are a couple of subjects that are really hot buttons with me, and quite frankly I think it is time SOMEONE addressed them. 


OK, first of all, what ever happened to manners?  When I was growing up, there was a great emphasis placed on being well mannered and courteous.  Of course, I was raised in the south, in a military family so I have no idea of how things are done in the north and west.  I was taught to respond to greetings politely, to say please, thank you and sir and ma'am to those either older than myself or in a superior position of authority.

I was taught that manners are the lubrication that 'greases' society and prevents friction.  Other than my sewing, I work in the "public sector" (I drive a city transit bus) and encounter quite literally hundreds of people each and every day.  I don't understand why so many people today (not just young people, although they are the worst) have a surly, hostile and aggressive attitude.  I told one woman (I will NOT call her a lady, as she wasn't one) that she should smile!  She flipped me off and called me a bitch.  Excuse me?  I have a generally sunny attitude, and talk with everyone, and crack jokes.  I firmly believe that the more you smile and laugh, the less stress you will suffer.  I try to make my passengers smile and laugh. 

Manners and Pedestrians

When a vehicle stops to let you cross the street, it is courteous to make your way on across the street in an expeditious manner - in other words, speed it up a bit!  Yes, pedestrians have the right of way in a cross walk (at an UNCONTROLLED intersection), but is that any reason to take your own sweet time moving on across?  Come on now, the vehicle is being nice, turnabout is fair play, right?

When I say pedestrians have the right of way, I mean that yes, vehicles should watch out for them, and let them cross the street IF AT ALL POSSIBLE!  People seem to have forgotten the fact of inertia, mass and time.  You HAVE to give the vehicle TIME to stop - if not, you are going to become very well acquainted with the laws of inertia and mass (Newton's First Law)!!  And you are going to lose that fight, I can assure you.

At a 'controlled' intersection (one with traffic/crossing lights), the rule is to wait until the lights are in the pedestrian's favor.  Vehicles are NOT supposed to stop at a green light to let a jaywalker cross the street.  The pedestrian is supposed to WAIT for the light.

And what about the people who insist on crossing the street in the middle of the block, regardless of traffic, and STILL amble slowly on across the road.  Quite often, it is night, and they are wearing all dark or neutral colors, so it is very hard to see them - and they become outraged when you react with screeching tires or swerve suddenly around them.  I've had them actually hit/punch my vehicle due to a near miss!

When someone extends to you a courtesy (of any sort), it is only polite to acknowledge that courtesy.  All you need to do is wave, nod or smile in thanks.  It encourages those people to continue extending those courtesies to other people.  Have you ever been trying to get out in traffic and NO ONE would let you out?  Perhaps if you started letting people out, they might get the idea and start passing it on.  I have had vehicles refuse to let me out into traffic, just to make a sharp right turn in front of me.  There have been times when I had pulled out into the traffic lane at a red light and was waiting for the light to change.  A vehicle would come roaring up, pull into the turn lane (or at times, the oncoming traffic lane) and pull out in front of me when the light changed!  Why?  What is that important?

Public Transportation Manners

OK, let's see - should I be ready to exit the vehicle when it gets to my stop?  Have all my goodbyes said, and my possessions gathered and waiting??  Oh hell no.  I'll wait until the driver closes the door and starts to pull away from the stop, then jump up and yell "HEY,  I WANT OFF HERE!!!"  Or when I'm waiting at a stop - when I see the bus coming, should I signal either stop or no thanks?  Nope.  I'll wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and then turn my back and walk away.  OR, wait until the driver is closing the doors before I hop up off of my backside and run toward the bus yelling at the driver the entire time.  While on the bus, I think I'll let out a piercing yell for absolutely no reason, and then laugh at the driver when they think something is WRONG/EMERGENCY!!  I think I will also congregate with several of my friends up towards the front aisle and block the seats and space behind me, so that new passengers take several minutes to worm their way back to where they actually have some space.

In a public bus, FEDERAL LAW states that the aisles must remain clear of obstructions and strollers need to be folded up and placed either under the seats or with you in your 'leg area'.  I have gotten into screaming matches (well, THEY were screaming, I refuse to indulge them) with young women who insist on trying to carry those huge "Cadillac" type strollers on the bus, resist closing them up, and then drop them in the middle of the aisle anyway.  I understand that those things cost well over $300, and they want everyone to know that they spent that much on a stroller, but an umbrella stroller is much more practical for public transport!

When I have been running behind schedule, why shouldn't I blame the bus driver for 'making me late'? When I have done all in my power to slow the bus down, why shouldn't I get angry that the bus is behind schedule??  After all, it is all the bus driver's fault that traffic is snarled up, or that there is an accident blocking the road, or that the driver had to pull over to let 8 emergency vehicles pass...  Right?

I treat EVERYONE who gets on my bus as though they were members of my own family.  That means I compliment, fuss, pet, scold, etc. as the need may be.  I've had passengers that get on my bus just to be able to cry on someone's shoulder who seems to care!  They also come tell me of personal triumphs and troubles.  I've been invited to the weddings of some of my regular passengers, and asked to bless new babies.  There are a couple of young women who get on the bus and declare: "Here, I brought you 'your baby'!"  And then hand me the baby to kiss!  MY baby!  Isn't that wonderful?

But sometimes I get so frustrated that I want to scream!!  You can't LIKE or love everyone you meet, but there is absolutely no reason you can't be civil and polite!  If you aren't feeling good, or are in a bad mood, say so and that you want to be left alone.  There is nothing wrong with that - just don't take your bad mood out on everyone around you.

Please keep upper-most in your mind at all times the thing I like to call the 11th Commandment (or in my opinion, the ONLY Commandment):  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Do you really need any other guide?  As I used to tell my boys as they were growing up - "Stop and think, for just a second, and ask yourself:  Would I like it if someone did that to ME?  If the answer is 'NO', then don't do it to someone else!!"