Get on the bus, y’all!


When is the last time you took the bus?  If you live in a city, you’ve probably hopped on one in the recent past.  How about getting on the school bus?  Did you have a favorite driver when you were in school?

I’ve been commuting downtown the past two months via bus, and it got me thinking.

  1. I could never drive this thing through the narrow city streets without crashing
  2. I don’t know how the drivers manage all of humanity on their bus plus traffic
  3. If the bus drivers weren’t there, I would have to pay a lot more to commute!

In short, I’ve come to respect this group of workers, and if it weren’t for my commute, they would have remained largely invisible to me as people.

I’ve seen drivers hold the bus for people running down the block, late for work.  I’ve seen drivers give extensive directions to lost passengers, and I’ve seen their eyes light up in surprise when people thank them for their service.

(Of course, there are the surly ones who drive like crazy, too, but they tend to be the exception.)

Last week I heard the Villanova basketball coach give props to his team bus driver, and I remember the man who drove me and my students all over Auckland with a smile on his face.  We all practically started crying when we had to say goodbye at the end of the week!

How many other “invisible” people do we interact with each day without really seeing them or giving them a thought as a person?  How about the guy who made your coffee this morning?  Or the receptionist who greeted you cheerfully on the way to an appointment?  And for those of you who live in Jersey, those gas station attendants?

It may seem trivial, but I had some time to think, you know, on the bus.  And I realized that a lot of the jobs people do that we take for granted may require skill and attitude that we don’t possess.  That goes double for those that do their work with a smile.

Let’s make a point to NOT take people for granted and to see them as people who matter in our daily lives.  Thank you, kind bus driver, server, trash collector and cleaner, we couldn’t make it without you!



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