Well I was on the bus on my way into town to see Tokyo Police Club at the Night and Day – a single decker stagecoach number 42 no less. We were just coming into the beginning of Fallowfield when at the bus stop a chap who was waiting outside of the bus for his mate to get on was most annoyed as the bus driver drove off when his mate showed no sign of hurrying up to get on the bus. What the would-be passenger did was to hit the side of the bus with his fist several times. The bus then braked sharply to a halt. The driver waited for the chap to come to the door, and then preceded to get out of his seat and face up the bus-abuser. The bus driver – a big man – walked towards him saying nothing and the other chap just had to keep walking backwards. It all sort of resembled two kids squaring each other off in the playground.
It all ended when the would-be passenger came up against a wall behind him and the driver – having sufficiently put the shits up the fella walked back onto the bus to the sounds of a broken English accent muttering something along the lines of “you no very nice bus driver”. Now I’m not sure who is entirely at fault in this scenario. The would-be passenger’s mate should have showed some signs of hurrying up after the driver initially decided to stop, even if he hadn’t maybe the driver should have waited anyway.
You can sympathise with either party. Imagine being the bus driver at the end of a long shift, a driver who probably takes crap off a lot of people day in day out. Is it any wonder that he snapped? Christ, enough people snap at public sector workers, you only have to see the sign at the post office I blogged the other week to see how bad it has got. In fact I’m pretty sure someone left a toe shaped impression in the side of a Magic Bus late at night the other day, so forcefully that the bang woke me from my drunken bus slumber. Equally so, we’ve all been at the other end of the stick when a bus has pulled off just as we’ve approached it – its easy to get frustrated. I suppose we just have to be patient.
However, it does raise the wider issue of looking after yourself using force when there is not enough respect in society to protect you from the likes of scallies, abusive customers, cheeky ASBO kids, and the rest. I’m not condoning vigilantism but it makes you wonder to think that we need be considering it.