On my way to work this morning, I was lucky enough to find a seat on the regular bus routine. But just after one short stop, I had to get off the bus.
The person who triggered the event is some guy between the age of 18-25ish. Many people later referred to him as “a kid”, perhaps because what he did cannot be described as grownupish… According to what I over heard from the bus driver, the kid only paid $1.55 for his $2.75 adult ttc ticket. He started arguing with the bus driver how he put 8 quarters in, which I quickly calculated in my head and it still doesn’t add up to 2.75, so I didn’t quite get why he brought that up. But apparently the bus driver thought it is relevant so he raised his voice and said no you have 4 quarters and a nickle, you only have 1.55 in here. I silently laughed in my head because clearly both of them can’t do simple math calculations. But it IS clear that bus driver is not letting the kid slip with his loose change and the kid is not stepping down the bus to let go what he already invested in that enclosed jar.
To be honest, I wanted to go up front to just give him the money. But I was a bit further away and it’s going to take me some time to tumble over there with my heels. Besides, they soon got sort of heated up with the argument of however many quarters the kid threw in. So I’m kinda scared I’d get into that ugliness. Then, before anyone realized what had happened, the bus driver announced that he had called the police and that he is not driving until the policeman arrives. Thus what was supposedly someone else’s matter became of concern for the whole bus worth of people.
It is not surprising that people were very angry. One lady kept on cursing at the kid who wouldn’t just leave the bus. Another lady started rambling on with poor English (maybe not poor, just has a strong accent) about the ttc strike. Then a black lady, looking very angry and fed up with all of this “nonsense”, took some change from her purse and attempted to give them to the kid. But by now it has became apparent to the kid that this is no longer a change issue, he has self-respect, you know? I predicted that he’ll turn her down, which he did, so personally I was giggling in my head. I tried very hard to keep my smile up side down, because everyone else was looking so angry.
I just found this to be a perfect example of how ignorant and inconsiderate people can be. If only someone could’ve offered the kid some change before it got out of hands; if only the bus driver could’ve been less of an ass about it in the first place. I’m not saying that it is okay for someone to get on the bus and not bring enough money. But I mean, it’s not like it’s inexcusable either? The bus driver was pretty mean about the whole ordeal, he was the one who raised the voice first. It is pretty insulting because he’s essentially calling the kid cheap. If I was in that position, it’d be pretty difficult to still smile at him or beg to stay on the bus.
I felt like people on the bus (including myself), all deserved it. Because we could’ve considered other people’s matter as our own matter. If only we had shown some more sympathy and care towards people around us, we wouldn’t have been all thrown out of the bus. For me, personally, I feel I should’ve stepped up and gave him some change before it all went downhill. But I was simply too lazy. I’ve always known for a fact that being selfless can return the favor. I always told people that it is okay to be selfish, but we should all be smart about it. Because a lot of the times I find that in order to be selfish, we need to be selfless first for it to work in our advantage. Perhaps the real question to always keep in mind is, when does it become a personal matter? And always try to take on some actions before it does become our own matter.
Afterwards we got on another bus. A lot of people, mostly women, started calling their friends/coworkers about the incident. They all sounded so innocent for being late since there was an “accident”. None of them felt that they should take any blame for it. Maybe my kind of thinking is too rare..