Permit me another post about bus riding in the Twin Cities. Last week I wrote about the people one encounters riding the bus. Today I want to celebrate the drivers on the bus.
I recognize that my sample is pretty small, as I’ve only been riding buses in Minneapolis for the last month or so. So I can’t claim that my experience is representative of all of the bus drivers in the city. But my experience thus far has been that the drivers on the buses I have ridden have been uniformly pleasant and helpful.
I’m guessing that being a bus driver is not the most interesting job in the world. One drives back and forth over the same route multiple times a day. I could easily imagine boredom leading to irritation and unpleasantness.
Instead, what I have observed on my bus rides is drivers who great passengers with a smile. Bus drivers who patiently answer the questions of riders not sure whether they are on the right bus.
Yesterday’s bus driver made me smile as she announced each stop. “16th Street. Basilica of St. Mary.” “Walker Scupture Garden. And across the street, Loring Park.” “__ street. Chipote, Kowalski’s.” “– street. Coffee shop, gas stations.” And my favorite, “__ street. My Sister’s Closet. (laugh) My sister never liked when I went in her closet. If I borrowed something of hers without her permission, well, I was in trouble.” I wasn’t the only one who smiled back at her as she looked in the rear-view mirror at the riders.
Some jobs are more intrinsically interesting than others. But how we do our jobs – whatever they are – makes an enormous difference to us and to those who we encounter.