Here in San Francisco, public transportation is a way of life. You see all walks of life on the many lines of MUNI and it makes for some great people watching. There’s not a week that goes by where I’m not asked how to get somewhere by a tourist, or there’s a crazy drunk on the bus either passed out, or making a scene and scaring/amusing people. While I am very thankful to live in a city where owning a car is completely optional, it’s not always a cakewalk riding the bus. MUNI is chronically late and off schedule and there’s never enough buses or trains on the most populated lines. For the most part, my trips on MUNI are pretty uneventful, but there are a few situations that just chap my hide and annoy me beyond belief.
My biggest pet peeve on MUNI has to be people talking on their phones. Hey, don’t get me wrong, this is the best way to pass the time on what can be really long commutes, and sometimes you just have to take a call, no matter where you are. I’m not talking about those types of phone talkers, I’m talking about those really loud talkers who either don’t have volume control, or want every single person on the bus/train to know what’s going on in their lives. Yesterday, I was on the way to work and this guy was going ON and ON about how his girlfriend was leaving him and what should he do and why didn’t she understand that being unemployed for only six months isn’t that big of a deal, blah blah blah. Hey, I’m sorry that you’re dealing with a lot here, but do you really want to air that in public? Feel free to chat up and vent to your friend all you want, but talk in your inside voice or take it outside. Relationship drama aside, I’ve even heard a guy talking to credit card company about a dispute on his account and he proceeded to recite what his credit card number out loud on a bus filled to capacity. Hello! Identity theft anyone?! Why would you announce to everyone within earshot what your credit card digits are? I’ve seen actual theft happen on buses. There’s plenty of people who would probably write that down and go on a shopping spree later. Save that convo for a more appropriate place.
Another MUNI pet peeve that I have are the people who just aren’t happy with the seat real estate that they have. I understand that these aren’t the most spacious seats on the planet, but you’re also not sitting in an airplane chair. I’m pretty small (I’m 5’3″ tall) and I swear there’s a target on my face when people are picking their seats. Nine times out of ten, there’s a really tall person or a heavier set person that sits next to me. Because I like my personal space, I involuntarily move over a bit so there’s some space in-between me and the person sitting next to me, but this just seems to be an open invitation for these people to take over a part of my seat, since they don’t want to be touching the person sitting next to them, or want to have more room in their chair. I know, part of this is my fault, but I have played stubborn and not moved at all, but it doesn’t matter! These people inevitably start scooting over, whether I’ve made room for them or not. Spending 45 minutes squished up against the wall of the bus for the ride home just isn’t my idea of fun. I’m warning you now, you keep moving over, I’m throwing an elbow! When my space isn’t being invaded by giants, it’s being invaded by people who want to work/play on their computers, or find extra room for their bags/purse/backpack/ because putting all that on the floor just isn’t an option. Hey, I am all for multitasking (and shopping for that matter), but come on, people! There’s only so much room that your seat can afford. Stay in that area. You are not welcome in mine.
I don’t expect MUNI to be a library, but come on, people. There’s enough that we’ve got to deal with when we’re riding around (hello, public urination and vomiting), let’s try to make the trip as pleasant as possible, no matter where we’re heading. Thank you!!
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