Thursday, January 31, 2008

Please Hold the Door

Pleasant customer service aside, the very best thing you can do for someone in need on the line is help him or her (or them!). The second best thing you can do--and only on a bus, really--is hold the back door for the people behind you.

I'm lousy at holding the doors and keeping them open; I have to force my entire body forward to get out the back, actually. When someone exits in front of me and holds them open, even a little, I'm excited that someone has recognized my existence on the planet and bothered to show some decency. (I usually make an effort too, even when it's a piddly attempt at keeping a door open.) I know that the person behind me can open the door (and hear you me, if the person can't I'm holding it open with all my might, worry not) and that the person in front of me has places to go. I know that I have places to go.
Today an older man got on the bus with groceries and rode to my stop. During the route his bags spilled and several soda bottles rolled through the bus and then, when he exited, onto the curb. He held onto his bags and held both doors open for me even though his Sprite was slowly rolling down York Road. He was friendly and cordial, implying through body language that this is natural and expected, and when I had safely exited, he carefully picked up his groceries, and we continued our treks home.

He is of course, the last type of person I'd expect to do that. But he kind of makes up for all of the lousy riders that will our days.

I'm months behind in my Chicago CTA news. Even though even already knows, some money came through, gas isn't taxed, and the civilian commuters/riders are out of danger (for now). Still, the news alert e-mails have been piling up and I am hoping (though however futile) to get some sort of post together. I need a weekly news round up, or something.

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