In the last weeks in the Netherlands there was a lot about bus drivers who got beaten up and even stabbed with knives on the news. A discussion came up. Lots of people want rigid punishment for bus drivers assailants. There was one sociologist that suggested that bus drivers should take lessons to become better hosts on the buses. She was scoffed at.
It reminded me of all these times that I witnessed people who ran to catch a bus being waved at by the bus driver after just coming not close enough to the bus stop in time. And that accompanied with a broad smile while driving on. And it didn’t matter if these people were young or old or handicapped. Or how bad the weather was.
It also reminded me of my last time on the bus in Amersfoort in the Netherlands.
I normally take my own car or go by bicycle. Even with a suitcase I can manage to get my bike going to the place I want.
That last time I had two suitcases to drag along so I felt forced to go by bus. It was quite a nice day in the autumn of 2008, so walking to the bus stop from my house wasn’t bad. Like always I was in time. I hate running for buses or trains, I will not be waved at!
The bus was completely empty, I was the one and only passenger. I told him where I wanted to go and sat down on a seat with my suitcases in front of me. I thought about the times that would come, there were some problems ahead. The next stops the bus passed, there were no other passengers.
Pretty soon the train station showed up and I already took the suitcases in my hand.
The bus drove into the lane and ….passed the station. I yelled: “What are you doing?”
“You didn’t push the stop button” , the driver answered and I saw him laughing in his mirror.
As far as I know buses are due to stop at the station!
I pushed the button and asked him to stop, there was no traffic at all on the street so that would not have been hard to do.
He just laughed in his mirror and I could imagine him telling this funny story to his mates while having a coffee. Only the fact that he had to hold his steer stopped him from slapping his knees while laughing. He drove me to the next bus stop which is a few hundred yards further. I got out and he closed his door as fast as he could. I yelled: “Thanks a lot!” while one of the suitcases just escaped the closing doors.
He drove away slowly so he had a better view on me struggling with the suitcases to get to the station.
Of course I delivered a complaint to the bus company, Connexxion.