Inherent in the whole "work" concept is the idea of the "commute," wherein one must find a way to, day after day, show up consistently to the previously mentioned "work". In fact, some may argue that the "commute" is an integral part of the whole "work" experience.
For some of us, this can be a crazy adventure involving a public transportation system. Oh the hilarity.
Actually, before I launch into my diatribe, you should know that I'm pretty lucky, commute-wise. The traffic in DC and the surrounding areas is terrible, to say the least. I live on the edge of the city, but within bus-distance to my M-street internship. The bus stop is literally across the street from my home and I get dropped off within one block of my office for the teeny-tiny price of $1.25 each way. While I have had to wait for over an hour in some circumstances (in a word: snow. DC'ites must think it's crack falling from the sky because they certainly turn into strung out crack fiends while driving in it. But I digress), I'm a fairly satisfied rider.
That being said, it's not WMATA that I have a problem with. It's other passengers that I have a problem with.
A taste of what I've witnessed/been subjected to:
- Cell phones. I understand your need to discuss the latest shades of Clinique lipstick, but do I need to hear about your Saturday night plans to get "f'd up"?? Puhlease. (Sidebar: shooting dirty looks does NOT help. For one particularly obnoxious phone caller sitting right next to me I reached into my bag and pulled out MY phone, opened it and said "Grandma? Grandma?! Turn your hearing aid on!! I've got your Preperation H in my bag! Don't worry, they'll stop oozing soon! Don't pick!!" She got the point.)
- Seats. Some seats are smaller/smooshier/closer together than others. I try to be a good bus rider, but sometimes your weight offsets mine, causing the shared seatcushion to tilt in your direction. Please do not construe this as an offer for a come on (however, I've gotten some pretty good ones. "Do you work for the World Bank?" is my personal favorite).
- Personal Hygiene. Please don't shake your hair in front of me. It's not pretty and doesn't taste good. If you do it again, I'm going to start carrying a scissors in my purse.
- Homework. Some dude asked me to proofread his English homework on the bus one morning. I don't know what is loopier, the fact that he asked, or the fact that I did it.
- Smells: One day I rode the bus and it smelled like bananas, pee and thai chicken curry. I haven't had Thai food since (ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew).
- Again with the seats: If you are 250 bils and are looking for a seat, please don't wedge yourself between me and the wall. Pick a smaller, skinnier girl who won't mind that you smell like bananas, pee and thai chicken curry.
Oh man, I'd better stop. This could go on forever. Also, I'm getting a bit sick!