b3ta.com user bunnybutt
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» Buses

A rare good public transportation experience
I've had most of the usual awful public transportation experiences - vomiting passengers, being felt up, violent crazies - but I'd like to mention my one truly spectacular experience on a city bus.

A weekday in downtown Chicago, a blizzard hits, temperatures keep dropping. Offices let workers out early for safe travel, but too late. I wait in vain for over two hours at the unheated, outdoor elevated train station, truly in fear for my life from hypothermia, then learn trains have stopped running due to the weather. I walk block after block to find someplace to warm up, and all I can find open is a McDonalds, where I fortify myself with several cups of scalding tea before heading back into the storm, desperate to get home. Streets are impassable, littered with stranded vehicles, nothing is moving, so taxis and buses aren't an option. I prepare to turn around and spend the night at McDonalds. Suddenly, to my shocked joy, I spot a lone bus lumbering up the street. It stops in front of me, and the bus driver opens the door, saying, "You'd better get in here." I grab the last seat, next to an elderly woman who keeps farting loudly and falling asleep with her head on my shoulder, but I don't care. I'm out of the blizzard and heading home.

The bus driver is on a mission: To get all of his passengers home safely, which he calmly assures us of throughout the trip. Time and again, streets are completely blocked by stranded vehicles, so the driver takes alternate routes, whether other streets or across the snow covered grass of Lincoln Park (yes, we go off-roading in a bus in 2-3 feet of snow). Each time he gets past an obstacle, the normally jaded, silent, city-dwelling passengers cheer, and pretty soon we start a sing-along. Rather than making passengers get out at bus stops, the driver drops off each passenger as close to his/her front door as possible.

A trip that usually takes 40 minutes took 4+ hours, and what should've been a harrowing experience turned into a party, all thanks to the bus driver who kept our spirits up, assured us of our safety, and was determined to get each and every one of us home. People can complain about the CTA all they want, but we're pretty damned lucky to have people like this working in our city.
(Fri 26th Jun 2009, 17:57, More)

» Stupid Colleagues

"Intellectual" is not synonymous with "Intelligent"
In the '90s, I worked at a graduate school, surrounded by professors with loads of degrees from prestigious institutions of higher education. During one particularly sloppy winter, a student mailed in a take-home exam sealed in a plastic ziplock bag - the sort you use to store leftover food in - to protect it from the elements. The professor who received the exam wandered out of his office with the sealed exam in hand, utterly perplexed and in search of help in removing the exam from the bag. Apparently, he'd never seen a ziplock bag before and couldn't figure out how the closure worked ... nor could he figure out that cutting or tearing the bag would solve the problem just as well.

That was the day I stopped feeling inferior for not having a graduate degree and understood that being smart would get me through life a lot better than being intellectual would.
(Fri 4th Mar 2011, 18:36, More)

» Awesome Sickies

The more graphic the story the less they want you at work
I get very few vacation days at work but a ridiculous number of sick days (45!), so I try to use as many sick days as possible rather than my precious vacation days. What I've learned: The more disgusting the illness you claim, the more people will believe you and beg you to stay away. My advice is to use "vomit" and "diarrhea" repeatedly in the same sentence. Describe symptoms in excrutiating detail. The boss will tell you to stay home for the week. Real illnesses, such as broken bones, upper respiratory infections, or horrific migraines, garner no sympathy or belief, but graphically awful ones involving poo will work every time.

One added benefit: Because people at work now think I have a tremendously delicate digestive system and worry about causing me "episodes", I get to select the food for all of our catered events. No more cheap, crappy pizza. Gourmet all the way!
(Fri 9th Jun 2006, 20:54, More)

» Mugged

The meek shall not inherit the earth
Personally, I've never been mugged. Living in an urban area, I walk around with the attitude: "I will hurt you if you get near me", and I'm told I'm quite intimidating for a small, blonde woman. However, a former boyfriend was mugged. While walking down the street, he was shoved into an alley by a lone, unarmed assailant and relieved of his wallet. He cried as he told me about it. My reaction: What a pussy. Summed up his entire personality, and I broke up with him about a week later.
(Fri 16th Jun 2006, 18:00, More)

» Petty Sabotage

Revenge on the Anal-Rententive Ex-Fiance
When my ex-fiance and I split up, he had possession of some of my belongings that I wanted back. I contacted him repeatedly to no avail. One of his housemates liked me and, being sympathetic, snuck me into the house to retrieve my things when the ex was away for a few hours. After gathering my belongings, I took one last look around his room, noting that, as usual, everything was rigidly neat and orderly - a place for everything, and everything in it's place, just as in every aspect of his life. By the way, my ex had a low threshhold for stress. Any change or inconvenience, no matter how minor, usually set off an attack of severe stomach pain and sometimes diarrhea which occasionally required hospitalization to treat. So I rearranged his room. Everything was still neat and orderly, just in an entirely different place. Then I left. I understand he needed almost an entire bottle of antacid to get his stomach pain under control.
(Fri 6th May 2005, 21:08, More)
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