There's this bus driver I don't like
I get the bus to and from work every day and generally speaking my experience is quite positive. The buses I get usually show up on time, always have a seat available and are quite clean. So what is there to complain about?
Well… there's this one driver... I know nothing about him other than the fact that he drives a bus and that I don't like him.
It all started a couple of years ago...
The bus was late that day. So late that the next bus on the schedule was getting ready to leave while my bus had yet to depart.
My bus did arrive eventually, but it did so just two minutes before the next one would leave. This means that there were people at the stop waiting for both buses. When the late bus opened its doors everyone piled in. It was practically full from the first stop.
Not me however, I hung back. The next bus would be leaving in two minutes and it would be empty. Empty buses make for faster bus journeys because there are fewer stops. This one would be even faster because we would have a bus out in front clearing all of the stops.
Satisfied with my genius plan, I go to board when the driver says:
"You should have gotten that bus."
He's got a big miserable looking head on him and a monotonous voice.
"But this bus is leaving now, right?" I ask, confused. Maybe I had gotten wrong and this was an even later bus that wouldn't be leaving just yet.
No response, he just kind of looks at me and shrugs.
I get on the bus and as I had predicted my travel time is significantly reduced. We actually overtook the other bus 3/4 of the way into the journey.
That’s it. The whole story. The guy was rude to me one day. But that memory would stay with me right up to the point where I find myself writing a blog post about it.
The second run in I had with him was on another trip home from work. As we approached my stop I get up, hit the bell and wait down stairs by the drivers cabin. The driver, however, decides to drive right past my stop.
When I call him on it he just gives me a dirty look and pulls the bus over. There may have been a grunt.
It's entirely possible that I didn't hit the bell properly. Or maybe he legitimately didn't notice it. Whatever, it happens - but there's no need to be rude about it.
This probably wouldn’t have bothered me at all if not for the first incident, and the fact that he drives slow. Really slow.
Generally speaking if he is driving I can just go ahead and add 10-15 minutes to my commute, which is a significant amount of time considering that the actual journey first thing in the morning (6:15am) should only take 35 minutes.
That is the entire history of my interactions with this guy. He drives my bus for one week in every six or so.
And every time he’s driving I’m sure to let him know that I don’t like him…
When ever I get on the bus I usually say hi to the driver, try to be pleasant. Same when I'm getting off, I always say thank you (as is Irish tradition). But not with this guy. I don't acknowledge him in any way. Instead I just let him put me in a bad mood for the day.
What does it all mean?
This behavior is passive aggression on my part, and it's not healthy.
Whenever he happens to be driving the bus I will invariably find myself in a worse mood. I have created an internal rivalry between me and him. He's a nemesis of sorts.
I also assume that he feels the same about me. That out of the hundreds of people he sees getting on and off the bus each day he remembers me. That when I get on the bus he thinks to himself "here's that rude prick again".
He probably doesn't, which makes the whole thing that bit more absurd.
For some reason I'm holding on to this grudge against some stranger with whose life mine has a very slight intersection. What’s worse is that this imaginary rivalry that exists only in my head has negative real world consequences. It is manifested in my bad mood.
It’s important to say that I don't want this guy to die or be hurt or anything. I guess I kind of just want him to know that I think he is a prick. More importantly, I think want him to know why I think he is a prick.
That’s passive aggression in a nutshell.
You get pissed at someone for doing something but don’t want to be open and honest about it, opting instead to be a worse version of yourself as a result of an irrational reaction to some external stimulus.
I think we carry a lot of this around with us. Most people don't like confrontation, so when someone upsets our sensibilities we internalize it. We maybe act in ways that we hope makes the offending party realize that we are upset with them without actually confronting them directly.
This of course helps no one. The person who caused the offense (or whatever) is none the wiser and the upset party is just anxious and angry about the whole thing.
Basically I should probably thank this driver (I've affectionately nicknamed him 'Slowpoke' after a slow moving Pokemon) as I get off the bus, like I do with all of the other drivers. I should get over it and stop letting this silliness have a negative impact on my life.
But I probably won't... I just hate that guy so much…