Four Degrees of Separation

The Birds…Alfred Hitchcock…Psycho…Crazy Commuters

This morning I caught the Q49 bus, deliberately running late. A new employee I.D. swipe-in system has been instituted at my job, and management now prohibits anyone from clocking in until it’s exactly 9:00 a.m.

The reason being, their new computer system, the residential non-human, might proceed to pay you for 5 or 10 extra minutes, without prior approval from management.

Given that attorneys will bill you for every nanosecond of their time – and if you commanded their hourly rate, you would, too, because such a minuscule fraction of time would actually amount to something in their world – so you can see where they are coming from.

Formerly a prodigious worker who got in early and worked off the clock, the new me intends to arrive at work one minute before 9:00 a.m. and not a second sooner. Which was my reason this morning for boarding a later bus.

So here we are in a packed bus, two columns of vertically stacked worker-humans clinging for dear life to poles and handles in the center aisle as the bus makes its way to the subway station. Several feet in front of us is yet another packed bus.

As the subway station comes into view, the bus ahead of us pulls over to unload passengers. Our driver waits patiently. The rear door of our bus juts out beyond the boundary of the sidewalk and into traffic, so our doors remain closed, for saftey’s sake.

When the bus in front pulls out from the curb and ours pulls in, the doors open and this crazy woman pushes her way through the rest of us, up to the front of the bus.

Climbing off, she yells at the driver:  “You had to wait for the other bus?! Why couldn’t you let us off?! Don’t you have any brains?!”

One by one the passengers file out and almost everyone of us says to the driver, a tad sheepishly (as if apologizing for that lunatic), “Thank you. Have a nice day.”

If his day was ruined already, he didn’t let on.

So is it really worth it to report to work 15 minutes later than I used to? And encounter stressed out people who are blaming their tardiness on the bus driver or the vertical human blocking their egress from the commuter vehicle?

No. Projection (if you took Psych 101 in college) — is bad. Humanity — is good.

On Monday, I plan to return to my former self and report to work at my usual 8:30-8:45 a.m. and travel with the normal commuters.

15 extra minutes? Not worth it. Are you listening, Management?

Have a nice weekend, bona fide humans!

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