My company has been working with our local public transit people to research how they can help employees. In a planning meeting, I mentioned I should probably try out the system for myself before I go promoting it to others, and the immediate reaction was, “Yes!” Followed very quickly by, “Please let us know when you do so we can have our film crew go with you!” You know that sudden record stopping noise? That’s exactly what happened in my head. Sccrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaatch! Wait, what now?
A) I’m the most self-conscious extrovert you’ll ever meet.
B) I know nothing about their system like times, routes, fares, etc. so I’ll have to be the glaringly obvious rookie with route papers and sweating.
C) It’s going to be filmed and then shown not only on the buses, but at the transfer station, on a local news segment on two stations and at my work!
A+B+C=D, for DECLINE.
However, in good greenhorn spirit, I told myself to suck it up and take one for the team (and a few other sports clichés) to keep myself committed. They asked me to try it and to be honest. And, I was very flattered that they would want my opinion.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on plenty of public transportation systems—New York subways, Atlanta buses, Chicago cabs and my entire first year of college at UCF was spent carless so I relied solely on the buses (and friends with cars on rainy days). But I’ve lived in north Florida for, we’ll just say many, years now and using anything other than your own car is rare. My friends and I will all drive separate to meet up at a restaurant, then all drive separate to the movie, then all drive home…it isn’t eco-friendly, but it also isn’t unusual. Maybe it’s because our city is so sprawling, but it’s just not a way of life here. So friends, the time has finally come for me to ride the bus to and from work for the first time.
Today, the transit representative I’ve been working with (who’s lovely, by the way) wrote me a confirmation e-mail:
“We are a go. [We] will have [our] film crew follow you and they cannot help you with any questions about the trip. You can ask the operator or someone at the station for help if you feel nervous. There will be one person (not me) dressed in plain clothes to take this trip with you. He will not sit next to you or anything, but he keep an eye on you to make sure you do not run. 🙂 ”
Ha! She’s a funny lady. I guess that means I’m officially in. Update coming next week about the greenhorn bus excursion!
What have your public transportation experiences been? Any funny first rides?