Wednesday, September 19, 2007

No Bleeding on San Francisco buses!

KOLKATA: A 44-year-old man and a young couple were the latest to fall victim to rogue bus staff on Tuesday, just a day after a conductor kicked a blind man out of a bus. (Times of India)

On a much less severe note a man was refused a ride on a San Francisco bus (MUNI) for being a possible cleanliness hazard.

On my way home yesterday I joined another commuter waiting at bus stop. He had tissue paper stuffed up one nostril with apparent blood stains on either end of it. He had made no attempt to conceal either the tissue paper or the blood. The blood stained paper stuck out of his nose like an extra appendage. I would have asked him if he was OK but from his demeanor it almost felt like I would be intruding on his otherwise uneventful day. He seemed completely oblivious of his peculiar appearance as he rifled through his shopping bag or perused the flyers and advertisements posted around the bus stop. When the bus did finally arrive, about 10 minutes later, he boarded before me. As I payed my ticket fee, the bus driver called out to him and asked him to de-board. His actual words were " You have to wait for the bleeding to stop before you get on the bus or you are going to bleed all over the bus". The man attempted to inform the driver that he was not going to cause a bloody mess or that he was not bleeding. But the driver refused to move until he got off the bus. The man eventually grudgingly got off the bus muttering under his breath. The bus pulled away from the stop soon as the driver felt safe about the cleanliness of his bus.

The lack of sensitivity on the part of the driver was appalling and surprising. In most cases one would expect the driver of any US Public transport vehicle to offer assistance either personally or by calling in medical personnel.

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