Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Bus Driver’s Syndrome

Yesterday I was on the way home from work, and the transportation was a public bus. You might think that the bus driver's job is rather simple, or I imagined it was: a bus driver drives a bus safely, not causing problems and dangerous situations in the traffic, and ensures safety of passengers by driving composedly. Usually the bus is required to stop on the front end of a bus stop to ensure that other buses can park at the same stop. The bus driver drives a bus and handles the transaction of fees accordingly and does not editorialize what people are going in and out, unless there is a problem caused by a passenger. It is not the driver's business what age, gender, race or social status the passenger is.

Apparently even a bus driver's job, which is not the most prestigious or hardest in the world, can be too difficult to handle for some people. And I do not mean the driving part, but how a driver should handle the social aspect of the job. I have seen lots of different drivers, some can handle the job how it should be and some think that their personality traits should be brought or reflected to the job and professionalism. Yesterday I was at a bus stop waiting 15 minutes early. Couple of people appeared during the waiting period. I was waiting on the front end of the stop and others were aligned accordingly. The bus came, instead of driving to the front end of the bus stop, the driver decided to halt at the midsection of the stop. This meant that the waiting line composition did not matter anymore. People started to go inside the bus and as soon as the first customer went inside, the driver started instantly rambling, with an excessively loud tone, about how he decided to take the last customer first leaving the first last. He was so proud of his usage of power that he continued to babble about it with an overly jovial tone and constantly tried to innovate simple jokes from such an event. Jokes simply circulated around the misfortune of people who waited longer than others, and he managed to get some satisfaction from it. I tried to understand the situation from the angle of if I am a humorless person, or is the situation just absurd. Both angles do have a sense of humor and childish fun, but then I realized that there is a mundane depth in society.

People with a slightest chance to express their sadistic tendencies, will take the opportunity to act accordingly. Sadism does not have to be serious on a scale to have consequences, but it reminds of certain traits in human behavior. If there is a slightest gray area, which is not regulated by law, order, rules and enforcement, an individual with a deprived sense of morality and ethics, will always chronically probe the holes to gain personal interests, even if they are something small, in this case teasing unknown people for his own amusement. The main reason why some people are degenerated, is the fact of lacking education. Bus driver's license does not require complex studies, which are in universities. Biggest demographic employed in the job are probably having some lesser education. This means that when the education is lacking philosophical and sociological studies, the individual is in danger of being automatically left behind on social development, unless the person is extensively studying in his spare time.

To counter the behavior of degenerated people on the job, is to have strict rules even in the smallest details. Outlines of the bus drivers protocol could/should be: The driver drives the bus to the utmost front end of a bus stop to ensure the integrity of the passenger waiting line and making room for other buses to arrive. The driver handles the fee transactions accordingly and does not act anything extra to decelerate the prediction of the route. The driver withholds inner opinions of others, politics and religion, and does not give out any prejudice regarding gender, race or age. Driver concentrates fully on the traffic and does not entertain passengers at the expense of their safety. The driver needs to maintain professionalism, even if it needs authoritarian outlines.

To undermine the previous text and add a juicy ending to it, we can think of the demographic of people in a public bus. Stereotypical bus has a layout, which is divided into two parts, back and front halves, divided with a middle door. Usually the back side attracts people with sociological problems: junkies, drunks, teens and miscellaneous with attitude problems. The front attracts mostly old people, young children and fat individuals.

Constant trend in a public bus is that when a passenger leaves a bus, he/she yells something like “thanks” to the bus driver. Some manage to actually scream it and some just settle for a faint wail. It probably should serve a purpose to be a compliment for the bus driver for the service, but actually it is only a remark for the passenger him-/herself for a kind gesture, sort of a vague narcissistic rite. The proof is that most of the time the “thanks” is so muffled that the driver can not hear it, and the fact the driver usually doesn't care, because of apathy from the mileage. It mimics a rite of good manners, even though the customer paid for the trip and the bus driver only does his/her routine job. Funny thing is the fact that the bus driver is going to be on the job and route, no matter how many kind gestures there are or aren't. The bus serves a purpose transporting people on the route, not serving people itself and their emotions, although the bus driver and the occupation belong to the customer service. It is the same as if a person buys food with his/her own earned money, cooks it alone, eats it alone and at the end of it thanks him-/herself for such an effort. Completely useless gestures.